Don’t Overlook Lewis Winner Orion Nebula

Lewis Stakes- Grade 3 (KYD)- $100.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
February 1, 2020

As we get closer to the KYD, there is a lot of excitement surrounding Brittle, who won the Holy Bull down at GP. We can be excited about him, but this horse Orion Nebula is one that also deserves hype and he is going under the radar. In the BC Juvenile, he ran a great race, and finished second to Brittle in a close photo. In the Grade 3 Lewis Stakes, Orion Nebula ran an impressive race, and won convincingly. That’s what a length and a half win, in our game, is, for this division. His trainer is John Henry, and it’s his first win in the stake. Jockey D Van Dyke is also a first time winner. We nearly set a stake record here, but the time of 1:41.38 is the second quickest in history, barely missing out on the 2017 record. Plenty of reason to have positive thinking about Orion Nebula, as we enjoy the many different contenders in this division. Here’s how it happened.

(1/4 Mile- :23.85)- After a clean start by everyone in the field, it looked like Personal Beliefs, from La Canada Racehorses was going to take the early lead, but he called that off prior to entering the turn, handing the top spot over to Jezza, starting near the outside from Estero Farms. Angelsinheaven, running for Angelos Stable, got a slight nudge prior to entering the turn to move forward, and he took the second spot. Personal Beliefs was now third, in a stalking position, and had The Sidley Stud’s Cairn Toul to his outside, running in the fourth lane. The middle of the field consisted of Media Mogul (Nakamura Stables) and Mexican Swagger (Aer Stables) running on each side of our eventual winner, John Henry’s Orion Nebula. This group was about three lengths from the front. Running very close by was First Man (Allinthegate). It’s another length to Titan Xd (Broken Spoke Stables). Trailing are County Medical (Crocker Ggs) and Honorable Behavior (Hunterman Stable).

(½ Mile- :47.40)- We do get some changes in the field over the second quarter of the race, and it starts in the front as Angelsinheaven takes over the top spot, and is now a half length in front of Jezza, who remains to his outside. Behind them, things get interesting as Orion Nebula leaves the two he had been running with behind as he pushes forward assertively in the middle of the backstretch, and also splits both Personal Beliefs and Cairn Toul. You can give him the third spot now, and he has cut his deficit to two lengths. Nothing wrong with Personal Beliefs and Cairn Toul here as they continue to run consistently as well. Going back in the pack more, Titan Xd has moved up while on the outside, and is now preparing to pass Mexican Swagger. Both Media Mogul and First Man let all this happen around them and lose positions. County Medican and Honorable Behavior are well off the pace.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- With Angelsinheaven and Jezza continuing to lead the field, Orion Nebula was content to stalk them for the duration of the backstretch and early into the turn. About midway into the turn, he made his move, down into the third lane, preparing to make the pass in the stretch. At this point, he was becoming the one to beat. While he was doing this, he came down on Cairn Toul, who ran this race in the fourth lane pretty from the start, so there was always room there for Orion Nebula to come through. Trainer The Sidley Stud may be questioning jockey G Franco on why he just allowed this room to be there all race. Mexican Swagger was looking for room to run, but could not find it as of yet. Personal Beliefs was hanging in here, perhaps looking to split Angelsinheaven and Jezza. No threats seemed to be lurking behind them.

(Finish- 1:41.38)- Orion Nebula takes over the lead in the stretch, and there is no one that is going to outrun him at this point. He was still in great stride as they hit the wire, earning him the big win as he moves forward to the KYD. Runner up Cairn Toul had a strong race here as well, and perhaps would have made this finish at least a little closer at the front if it were not for the wide trip. Mexican Swagger finally got room to run, but only would be a part of the wall of horses in a tight third place photo. He was fourth, as Personal Beliefs got a head in front of him. Angelsinheaven gets fifth ahead of the closing County Medical, who decided to start running way too late. Jezza was part of that photo as well. First Man and Media Mogul come next, and they seemed to make friends in the starting gate and just wanted to run together all race. Titan Xd and Honorable Behavior round it out.

About The Winner– Orion Nebula, trained by John Henry, and ridden to victory by D Van Dyke, is a three year old gelding by Sweep The Nebulae, and is out of the late Buzz The Tower. He was bred in Texas by Broken Spoke Stables, and acquired by John Henry, via Fractious in a $300.000 private sale in September 2019. The win is his fourth in eight starts, and his second graded win. His career earnings are now $632.900.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Orion Nebula John Henry Van Dyke D 2.25   11 1:41.38 xx
  Cairn Toul The Sidley Stud Franco G 27.05   21/2 1:41.63 xx
  Personal Beliefs La Canada Racehorses Baze T C 9.00   3nk 1:41.73 xx
  Mexican Swagger Aer Stables Chirinos R 7.20   4no 1:41.79 xx
  Angelsinheaven Angelos Stable Pimentel J 2.65   5no 1:41.81 xx
  County Medical Crocker Ggs Maldonado E 14.70   6hd 1:41.82 xx
  Jezza Estero Farms Court J K 7.85   71 1:41.86 xx
  First Man Allinthegate Arroyo N Jr 18.50   81/2 1:42.09 xx
  Media Mogul Nakamura Stables Gryder A T 11.50   92 1:42.20 xx
  Titan Xd Broken Spoke Stables Fuentes Ru 376.20   101/2 1:42.65 xx
  Honorable Behavior Hunterman Stable Smith M E 33.60   11 1:42.78 xx

Track: Fast

Time: :234  :472  1:104  1:411

$2 Mutuel Prices:

3 – Orion Nebula 6.50 3.90 3.00
8 – Cairn Toul   21.70 22.80
4 – Personal Beliefs     6.20

$1 Exacta: 3 – 8 Paid 112.40

$1 Trifecta: 3 – 8 – 4 Paid 718.60

Scratched: Laffin Hero

Winner picked by NS

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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