Lael Stable’s Hawksmoor had had success over soft and yielding ground in Europe, and used that experience to her benefit in Saturday’s G3 Beaugay Stakes when she took the lead, set slow fractions and had just enough left late to hold off Dacita by a nose on the wire. A 4-year-old daughter of Azamour ridden by Julien Leparoux, Hawksmoor covered 1 1/16 miles over Belmont’s yielding outer turf course in 1:48.91 for trainer Arnaud Delacour.
“I was kind of hoping we could have soft turf and obviously the weather was with us,” Delacour said. “I told Julien [Leparoux] 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 [No. 6] 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. She had been breezing very well.”
Hawksmoor broke well, if not particularly quickly, but when none of the other five mares in the field went for the lead, Leparoux let her go to the front. A steady pace of 25.45 and 51.20 seconds kept the field tightly bunched behind Hawksmoor, with All in Fun and My Sweet Girl the two closest pursuers. Behind them, Time and Motion was relaxed around the outside while Dacita was well-held at the rear of the field; Rainha da Bateria was second-last.
Approaching the far turn after a pedestrian three-quarters in 1:16.95, Hawksmoor held a 1 1/2-length advantage as the late-running mares at the rear of the field began to make up ground. Time and Motion went three-wide to mount her challenge, while Dacita waited behind her until the field straightened into the stretch. Rainha da Bateria was stuck behind horses on the inside and had to wait until the head of the lane to unleash her rally.
Down the straight Dacita was the widest of all, grinding away at Hawksmoor’s lead through the length of the stretch. Time and Motion was between them, and angled in toward Hawksmoor in the final sixteenth to try to get an eye on her rival; that move, in turn, cut off the path of Rainha da Bateria, who had tried to go inside Hawksmoor, then re-routed to her outside until Time and Motion blocked that path.
Hawksmoor just held on by a head-bobbing nose over Dacita on the wire, and Time and Motion just was not able to get to those two, finishing about a half-length back in third. Rainha da Bateria was impressive in her fourth-place finish, because after two momentum alterations and path changes she still rallied again in the final strides to make it a tight photo for third.
“Early in the race she was very relaxed and very comfortable on the lead,” Leparoux noted about Hawksmoor. “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. I was expecting the closer [Dacita] to come and she fought them back.”
Bred in Ireland by Tenuta Genzianella, Hawksmoor was a $ 102,792 Tattersalls yearling purchase. She began her career there, compiling wins in Group 2 and 3 contests and a pair of Group 1 placings. Transferred to the United States, Hawksmoor was third in the G1 QEII Cup in a close finish at Keenland last fall, then a sixth-place effort led to a layoff, coming into the Beaugay off a six-month break. This win is her first in the US, and her fourth lifetime from 12 starts. Hawksmoor has earnings of over $ 400,000.
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