Lewisfield returns with a bang, takes Not for Love
Lewisfield. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Making his first start of 2019 — and coming off a year-end in which he went slightly off form — five-year-old Lewisfield made short work of a tough group of Maryland-bred rivals in the six-furlong, $75,000 Not for Love Stakes Saturday at Laurel Park. Reunited with jockey Arnaldo Bocachica, Lewisfield zipped to the early lead and drew away to a 3 1/4-length victory in 1:08.68 for six furlongs over a fast main track.
Lewisfield had not raced since a third place finish — at 4-5 odds — in December’s Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial Stakes also at Laurel. But trainer Jeff Runco had the son of Great Notion primed for this contest. He led by a length after a quarter-mile, two lengths after a half, and pulled away to the final margin of victory. Late-running Rockinn on Bye — who rarely wins but rarely finishes off the board (career record of 66:7-24-13) was along for the place, while Laki, the 9-10 favorite, finished third.
Lewisfield paid $6.60 to win and topped a one-dollar exacta worth $11.20.
Lewisfield, a Maryland-bred, is a five-year-old gelding by Great Notion out of the Crowd Pleaser mare Smart Crowd. He now has a career ledger of seven wins from 16 starts with earnings of $371,297.
Lewisfield is owned by his breeder, Linda L. Zang. He is trained for Zang at Charles Town by Jeff Runco.
THEY SAID IT
“We’re going to see what works for him timing-wise,” said trainer Jeff Runco, regarding Lewisfield’s next stop, though he allowed the first MATCH Series stop, the six-furlong Frank Whiteley, Jr. Stakes at Laurel, was one logical spot.
Said owner-breeder Linda Zang: “It’s a better feeling for me because of my husband, who was Jim Lewis. He was a real supporter of Maryland racing… and this was his last horses that he had: his mare, breeding to Great Notion, for him that was the horse that would be a superstar, and here he is.”