Space Commander Captures His First Graded Event with Native Diver Stakes

Since Winning Strategy won this trainer his first ever Grade III victory back in 2008 taking home the Natalma Stakes, Nakamura Stables added Grade III victory number 80 here at DMR on Saturday when his new acquisition Space Commander found the line in a final time of 1:47.59.

  • Native Diver Stakes ( Gr. III ) – Purse $100.000
  • Del Mar Racetrack – For Three years old and Up
  • One Mile and an Eighth in Distance, Main Track

So what was the answer to Space Commander’s success in this years Gr. III Native Diver? Was it the long rest of 111 days that gave him time to refocus? Maybe it was the addition of blinkers for this event that kept him focused on the race, and not everything going on around him? Or was it the fact that his new trainer made his focus and intense efforts to turn this sophomore into a Graded company winner? Whatever the answer, he is now a two time stakes winner capturing both of his last two races, and in his past eight starts he has a record of 8 ( 3-3-2 ) and has a total career earnings of $221.400. Definitely, he knows how to get into the purse money.

While Bad English ( Maxmillion Farm ) was looking at giving his trainer his second Native Diver victory, the four year old colt would set the initial fractions in this event right up until the turn for home. The half would go in 57 and four fifths, and the three quarter time in 1:11 and two, and while Space Commander would stalk the fractions that Bad English was setting. He would wait no longer going through the turn for home and past the front runner before the top of the lane. His final time of 1:47.59 was just four tenths of a second off the track record, and just three one hundredth behind 2016 winner Democrat Politician ( Kopites ) who hold the event time for the DMR races.

Placing runner-up with the only other sub 1:48 time would be a closing Champion In Action ( Night Rider Stables ) who would make up four lengths in distance since the half. The cut back in distance definitely worked well for the four year old, and the drop from out of the stars of recent higher affairs got him back in focus. Hopefully this event will get him back to his winning ways of earlier this season.

Show money was rewarded to John Henry’s Made To Sin who is still struggling to find his first victory of the season in eight starts this year. He has just one win in eighteen starts in the past two seasons, and either he needs to shorten up his distance, or he will soon be sent to stud at the breeding barns. HE will gain respect there being a four time Graded winner, one being the DMR Futurity and a runner-up effort in the BC Juvenile where he missed by a nose.

Rounding out the event in order of finish would be Puzzle ( Aer Stables ) who would grab the minor share and has now been sent to the La Canada Racehorses barns. Early front runner and post time favorite Bad English would fade back to fifth place by the time he reached the wire. Jediminds Stable’s Grand Command who fell back early, and was never able to improve on his six lengths shy throughout. The final competitor would be Super Freaking Out ( Witeout Stables ) who brought four victories to this event, but the level was definitely over his head and the event should be used to refocus his efforts in lesser events.

Race #5 16:50 Native Diver Stakes – Grade III
1 1/8 Mile Dirt Stake Purse $100.00 Open 3 Year Olds And Up.
## Horse NameOwner NameJockeyOdds FinTimeSRF 
1 Space CommanderNakamura StablesFuentes Ru5.50 111:47.59— 
7 Champion In ActionNight Rider StablesVan Dyke D3.15 21/21:47.96— 
2 Made To SinJohn HenryBejarano R3.60 311:48.09— 
3 PuzzleAer StablesTalamo J5.00 411:48.43— 
5 Bad EnglishMaxmillion FarmGarcia Mar1.95 511:48.64— 
6 Grand CommandJediminds StableValdivia J Jr14.20 621:48.96— 
4 Super Freaking OutWiteout StablesArroyo N Jr695.65 71:49.48— 

Track: Fast
Time: :474  1:112  1:351  1:472

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Space Commander13.006.803.40
7 – Champion In Action 5.002.90
2 – Made To Sin  3.10

$1 Exacta: 1 – 7 Paid 16.80
$1 Trifecta: 1 – 7 – 2 Paid 52.20

Scratched: None

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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