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 18th running of the G2 Santa Margarita Stakes went to the uber-classy Z Command. The 6yo mare was wide throughout the entirety of the $200.000 race’s 9-furlongs, but the ground she lost proved to be inconsequential when she was produced for her run. The G2 Santa Margarita was her 11th graded stakes victory and the 13th win of her illustrious 37-race career.
Early on, Z Command found herself on the outside of the last flight of three horses as Pink Attack broke alertly and was allowed to dictate the early tempo their first time through the SA stretch. As that mare was on a clear three length lead heading into the first turn, Secret Eyes made an early move around the bend to be the first to challenge. By the time they reached the backstretch the Arindel-trained filly was on even terms with Pink Attack, and it would be Secret Eyes that posted the :47.39 opening half-mile just a head in front of her travel companion. Meanwhile, Z Command was racing alone in fifth and was running in the two-path.
Down the backside, Secret Eyes edged away from Pink Attack and was on a one-length lead as she entered the final bend. Cp Dark Pain appeared ready to engage the front runner while Z Command drew up alongside Take The Fifth about four lengths off of the pace. Secret Eyes posted three-quarters in 1:11.11, but the pack was beginning to shift behind her as Z Command moved four-wide for clear run outside of Cp Dark Pain and Take The Fifth.
By the time they reached the top of the lane, Secret Eyes held a narrow advantage as Cp Dark Pain and Z Command moved up on her outside to challenge for the lead in earnest. In a move that has suited her well throughout her amazing career, Z Command swooped past both runners and put a length between herself and Cp Dark Pain as she posted a 1:35.71 mile split and set sail for the wire. The drama would be left to the minor placings as Cp Dark Pain battled with Take The Fifth and Zombie Storm because Z Command had settled the debate for supremacy.
The winner’s advantage was a length and a half as Z Command powerfully crossed under the wire in 1:48.24. Take The Fifth won the place in a three-horse photo while Zombie Storm had to settle for the show a neck in front of Cp Dark Pain. Secret Eyes was just a length off of the latter and Pink Attack completed the order of finish.
Z Command has now earned $4,312.200 in her career and seems intent on delaying her anticipated arrival in the breeding shed for at least a few more months. Congratulations to her and Smokey Stover for their convincing victory in the G2 Santa Margarita at SA!