Saturday, November 29, 2014

Condo Commando dominates G2 Demoiselle, Leave the Light On shines in G2 Remsen


Saturday, November 29, 2014


Condo Commando dominates G2 Demoiselle, Leave the Light On

shines in G2 Remsen


By Jenny Kellner


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A pair of promising 2-year-olds posted impressive front-running stakes victories on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack, with Condo Commando cruising to an eye-popping 11 ½-length win in the Grade 2, $400,000 Demoiselle for fillies and Leave the Light On scoring by a half-length in the Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen.


Condo Commando, who won her first two starts by a combined margin of 25 ¼ lengths, grabbed the lead at the start and was never challenged as she swept through opening fractions of 23.97 seconds for the quarter, 48.20 for the half and 1:12.63 for three-quarters of a mile. Pulling away from her competition on the turn, the daughter of Tiz Wonderful hit the top of the stretch with an eight-length advantage and opened up to the wire, completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.40.


"She went easy, I never really had to ask her to go at all," said winning jockey Joel Rosario. "I didn't have to work hard to get to the lead and she was always comfortable. The horse was very relaxed and responsive, and anytime I asked her for more she was ready to go."


The victory was the third in four starts for Condo Commando, who entered the Demoiselle off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park. Prior to that, she was a 13 ¼-length winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway and broke her maiden by 12 lengths, both at Saratoga Race Course.


"We're over the moon," said winning owner Michael Dubb. "We knew at Saratoga she was a special horse, and she is."


Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, Condo Commando returned $5.10 for a $2 win bet as the 3-2 favorite in the field of seven and nearly doubled her bankroll to $508,600 in her first start around two turns.


"I didn't think the distance was going to be a problem because we'd given her some longer works," said Rodriguez. "She was training very, very well. To see her do this today was very, very special. Maybe we'll give her a bit of a break now."


Calamity Kate was second, three-quarters of a length ahead Angeog la Renee. Quezon checked in fourth, and was followed by Save Rock and Roll, Gap Year, and My Cara Mia. Jacaranda was scratched.


Leave the Light On, making his stakes debut, used similar tactics in his Remsen victory, striking the lead coming out of the gate and holding off the late charge from favored Frosted.


Ridden by Jose Ortiz, who won four races on the 10-race card, Leave the Light On set moderate fractions of 24.51, 48.91 and 1:13.14 while being tracked intently by Classy Class, with Frosted just behind in third. Turning for home, Leave the Light On shook off Classy Class and then dug in gamely through the final furlong to preserve the victory.


His winning time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:51.06.


"It was the perfect trip," said Ortiz. "The way the track is playing today helped me a lot. We broke good and the plan was to take the lead like [trainer] Chad [Brown] told me. He was relaxed, I tried to slow him down as best I could, and when I asked him to go he was there. Perfect training [job] by Chad Brown and his team."


Frosted, the 9-5 favorite who drew post 13, was eight lengths clear of third-place finisher Keen Ice.


"It was a very tough trip," said Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of the beaten favorite. "He ran well; we're happy with his race, other than not winning. He was very wide on both turns because of his post position, and he ran a big race. He was just unlucky. He's a fun horse to have, and hopefully he'll have a bright future."


Leave the Light On, now 2-0-0 from three career starts, returned $15.60 and earned $340,000, including a $100,000 bonus from the New York Racing Association for having broken his maiden at Belmont Park. His bankroll stands at $385,375.


"We bought him with the two-turn dirt races in mind," said Brown, who trains the Horse Greeley colt for Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence. "If he's good enough, he'll get better as the distances go on. His owners have been looking for a Derby horse and they've been knocking on the door with a couple. I think they have a legitimate contender here. He's a very long-winded horse."


Classy Class finished fourth, followed by Bodhisattva, The Truth Or Else, Market Conduct, Thirtysevenliveson, Eh Cumpari, Combat Diver, Moonlight Bandit, Royal Burgh and Ostrolenka. Flashaway was scratched.







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