Z Command the Headliner in Santa Margarita

The 18th Running of the G2 Santa Margarita

Saturday, April 30, 2022

SA Race #4 Post Time 19:30

$200.000 11/8 Dirt

F&M 4+ 123 Lbs (Plus Penalties)

Track Record-1:46.74 (Imane-2013)

Stakes Record-1:48.07 (Golden Chance-2013)

The second of a pair of G2 stakes, the $200.000 Santa Margarita will pit six older fillies and mares against each other as they go 9-furlongs on the SA main track. While all six will carry the 123-pound minimum, the field includes several graded winners.  Z Command, making her 30th consecutive start in a graded race, is the most accomplished of the half dozen, but this doesn’t appear to be a walkover by any means.  Let’s meet her and her five rivals for the G2 Santa Margarita:

#1 Cp Dark Pain (Threshold/V. Espinoza 123): 5yo mare has yet to defeat a graded field, but she has been competitive at the level and is a listed winner.  Mare’s two GSP’s came against the boys so she will have to demonstrate that she can beat some quality individuals at level weights; however, she’s started her season strong and this draw only adds to her appeal.

#2 Pink Attack (The Sidley Stud/E. Maldonado 123): 5yo was ITM in 10 of 11 starts last year and has started this season with back-to-back victories.  G3 tally earlier this month came over a muddy surface at AQU, but she appears ready to run on asphalt, if necessary.  Plenty of speed to be forwardly-placed and she should have no issues with this trip.  Another that ticks a lot of boxes.

#3 Secret Eyes (Arindel/J.R. Velazquez 123): G1 winner as a juvenile, she took a couple of G3’s as a sophomore but she was overshadowed by her stablemate’s historical 2021.  Returns to the main track for the first time as a 4yo after her last three efforts were on the grass.  Her best races have come from off of the pace so she’ll need to work out a trip and she’ll have to do so at equal weights with some tough customers.

#4 Zombie Storm (La Canada Racehorses/R. Chirinos 123): 5yo was 3rd in this event last year and has won four G3’s since.  She’s won from the front, stalking, and the back so this draw shouldn’t be an issue.  She’ll throw an unexpected clunker every now and then, but there are way more positives than negatives here.  Contender.

#5 Take The Fifth (TwinTowersRacing/Ru. Gonzalez 123):  Hunch play, anyone?  Lass chose a tough group to try in her first graded race in over two years but she does have two wins from three starts in this, her 5yo season.  Still, this is a pretty salty group and, while she only has to beat two to get a check, tough to endorse based on current form.

#6 Z Command (Smokey Stover/A. Cedillo 123): 6yo is a first-ballot HOF performer, but she enters here on a 7-race losing streak since June’s G1 victory.  Now, three of those efforts were against the top horses in the game and she won’t see any of them in here; however, she needs her “A” game to best this group.  Latest effort was encouraging and have to expect her to be sitting on “Go” for one of the hottest barns in the game.  Strictly the one to beat if ready.

Final Analysis: 1-4-6 based off of current form but wouldn’t be surprised if someone upset the apple cart.  Good luck to all of the participants in the G2 Santa Margarita!

Categories: Grade II, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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