Z Command Strikes Out The Pitcher Stakes Field

The Pitcher Stakes (Grade 3)- $400.000 Purse
MTH- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
July 23, 2022

While the eyes of the racing world were at MTH to see the Haskell, the best horse that stepped foot on the track on Saturday was not any of them that were running in the day’s featured race. Instead, that honor would belong to the great Z Command, a one-time BC Champion among other big races won by the six year old mare. In the Grade 3 Pitcher Stakes, Z Command would show everyone that she can still get it done, scoring her fourteenth win in her 39th career start. All those in the Haskell will dream of having a career like that. She is trained by Smokey Stover and was ridden by E Jaramillo, and it’s the first Pitcher victory for either of them. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:41.39, the second quickest in the history of the race. Let’s take a look at it!

(1/4 Mile- :23.50)- The early lead of the race will belong to Lassitude as the TwinTowersRacing filly takes a two length advantage into the clubhouse turn. Behind her, they would initially line up into two rows of three, but after a quarter mile, the other Smokey Stover horse, Ponderosa, would take the second spot by a length while running in the third lane. Side by side battling third, it’s Fashionable on the rail for Mb Stables and YME Stable’s Last Call running between horse. The back row of three is where we see our eventual winner, Smokey Stover’s Z Command as she runs in the third lane, four lengths out. The reigning winner of the race, Miss Steel Mazula (Nakamura Stables) is next on the rail, and trailing is Foregone Conclusion (D J C Racing Stables).

(½ Mile- :47.17)- Lassitude continues to lead the race as they move down the backstretch, and no one has looked to challenge her for that spot yet. Behind her, the length advantage that Ponderosa had over both Fashionable and Last Call is gone, and they are now all side by side by side. Z Command has moved forward a little bit, clearing both Miss Steel Mazula and Foregone Conclusion, and running right behind the three way battle for second. She has about three and a half lengths to make up on the leader.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.8F To Go)- Lassitude is a sitting duck at the top of the turn, running out of energy, and she quickly loses several positions. The first to get around her will be Last Call as both her and Fashionable claim the top two spots midway into the turn. By the time they are at the top of the stretch, Last Call has the top spot by a half length on Fashionable. Handling the turn very well a little further back would be Z Command, as she passes her stablemate easily, and soon after that would also get around the fatigued Lassitude. Foregone Conclusion and Miss Steel Mazula are still at the back, and have not made any sort of push as of yet.

(Finish- 1:41.39)- Last Call looks good in the stretch, and seemed poised to pick up a huge win. Unfortunately for her, though, one of the best female horses active in the game was in the race and bearing down on her. It looked like Z Command’s best option was to pass Last Call on the inside, but this is not a horse you doubt and E Jaramillo certainly knows how to handle her. He would move Z Command to the outside of Last Call, but Last Call was not giving in very easily. It would take a great to make the pass, and Z Command would get the job done, winning by half a length. Give credit to Last Call, she made a strong impression here as she showed fight, holding on for second. Yes, she carried five fewer pounds, but heart is heart. Fashionable had nothing for them, and lost ground while still managing third. Three lengths further back, Miss Steel Mazula gets fourth moreso because no one else really pounced on the chance to get the spot. Rounding it out, it’s Foregone then Lassitude and Ponderosa in a dead heat.

About The Winner- Z Command, trained by Smokey Stover and ridden to victory by E Jaramillo, is a six year old mare by Good Authority and is out of Z Broken One. She was bred in the great breeding state of Pennsylvania by Joshua Stables as a yearling, and acquired by Smokey Stover in private sales for $575.000 in August 2019. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her 14th in 39 starts, thirteen of those are stakes, and twelve of those stakes are graded. Her career earnings are now $4.652.200.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Wt Amt Won Time Cl
  Z Command Smokey Stover Jaramillo E 124 240.00 1:41.39
  Last Call YME Stable Espinoza V 119 80.00 1:41.48
  Fashionable Mb Stables Saez L 124 64.00 1:41.98
  Miss Steel Mazula Nakamura Stables Wilson E J 124 16.00 1:42.41
  Foregone Conclusion D J C Racing Stables Franco M 124   1:42.43
  Lassitude TwinTowersRacing Velazquez J R 119   1:42.63
  Ponderosa Smokey Stover Gonzalez Ru 124   1:42.63

Track: Fast

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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