Hawksmoor soars to G3 Beaugay victory
by Heather Pettinger
Lael Stable's Hawksmoor broke on top and never looked back to register her first U.S. victory by a head in the Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at 1 1/16 miles on the grass on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Hawksmoor, a 4-year-old Irish-bred filly trained by Arnaud Delacour, was swift out of the gate under Julien Leparoux. Four lengths separated the six-horse field as Hawksmoor led through an opening quarter-mile in 25.45 seconds, a half in 51.20, and three-quarters in 1:16.95. Hawksmoor held a half-length advantage over Time and Motion as the field turned for home.
Hawksmoor continued to hold off Time and Motion through the stretch run as Dacita, last through the early going, mounted a wide bid through the turn and drew alongside Hawksmoor in the final sixteenth. Hawksmoor won the bob at the wire to return $9.60 for a $2 win wager.
The winning time for the Beaugay, moved to the yielding Widener turf due to the weather, was 1:48.91. Dacita finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Time and Motion in third, followed by Rainha Da Bateria, All in Fun and My Sweet Girl. On Leave and Miss Temple City were scratched.
"Early in the race she was very relaxed and very comfortable on the lead," said Leparoux. "I tried to get her going pretty early. She fought back when she felt Dacita coming on the outside. She was very comfortable on it [the yielding turf]. I was confident about that, but it was a good bunch of fillies behind her."
Hawksmoor won a pair of group stakes in Europe and finished a close third to Time and Motion in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland in October before transferring to Delacour last fall. Saturday's Beaugay was her first start off a nearly six-month layoff following a dull sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Mrs. Revere last November at Churchill Downs, her first start for her new trainer.
"I was kind of hoping we could have soft turf and, obviously, the weather was with us," said Delacour. "I told Julien I didn't think there was that much speed. She's obviously has run very well on the soft before in that kind of way [forwardly placed], so we were trying to do the same thing today. Towards the finish, Dacita came on like she was going to pass us, but our filly is a little deceiving. She was kind of looking around a little bit, that's why she had blinkers, but she kept coming and she tried hard. I was real pleased with that. I was very happy she put on a good performance off the layoff."