First Lady (Grade 1)- $750.000 Purse
KEE- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile on the Turf
October 7, 2023
You know it’s a fantastic day of virtual racing when a $750.000 Grade 1 isn’t big enough to get into an eight-race Pick ’em! That’s because it was not a “win and you’re in” race for the BC, but in spite of that, you can count on several horses from this race running in the BC at SA next month. Demanding Commander was not one of them in 2022 despite having a good season that saw her win close to $700.000. She has built on that this year, under the guidance of Mb Stables, who picked the filly up in private sales for $625.000. Following the First Lady, she has now won three times in the last six months, including two Grade 1’s. With 30 points for the BC Fillies and Mares Turf, we’ll be seeing her there just as long as Mb Stables wants her to be! It’s the third win in the First Lady for the trainer, as he also won in 2013 with the late Lucky Baby, and in 2018 with Big Fan. Jockey L Saez is a first-time winner of the race. Congratulations to them! Demanding Commander was the post-time favorite and was our second choice in the preview. The time of the win was 1:33.01, and that is a new stake record! Let’s take a look at it!
(1/4 MIle- :23.17)- At the start of the race, we have two horses going back and forth trying to determine who will get the lead at first call. Officially, it is Arindel’s Fangs Of The Storm getting the nod there, but High Voltage’s Omnibus is right there with her. Right behind them, about as close as they could be without running into the top two, we have a group of four, and leading the way there is the horse on the rail, which is TwinTowersRacing’s All By Myself. Certainly, she is not living up to her name right here, and has the eventual winner of the race, Demanding Commander from Mb Stables, right beside her. Next to her is a horse she will seeing at the wire as well, in Mo Mentum Farm’s Painville. Swam Pass, another TwinTowersRacing entry, is four wide. Behind them, Maxmillion Farm’s Lucky Star is thinking about a five wide move, and if she’s not going to do that, she’s likely more outside than she should be for the opening turn. Ma Petite Penne is nearby, but closer to the rail for Night Mare Racing. Further back, we have Toxins (London Racing) and The Great Enabler (Wood Duck Stables), and trailing is Creepy Chili (Chili King Stables).
(1/2 Mile- :46.45)- It’s no longer closer at the front, as Omnibus has asserted herself as the race leader in the backstretch and has taken a full-length lead. Fangs Of The Storm settles into second for the time being but has All By Myself preparing to pass her to the inside. All By Myself has pushed ahead of the three that was running with her before, but they all seem to be in a good spot. Demanding Commander may have been in the wrong lane right here as Fangs Of The Storm was beginning to fall back into her, and neither Swam Pass or Painville were going to be nice and give Demanding Commander room to move over. Lucky Star backed out of the five wide consideration and settled in behind Swan Pass. She still had Ma Petite Penne running evenly with her. Not much going on further back.
(Top of Stretch, 1.8F To Go)- Around the turn, Omnibus holds the lead and is going to look to take her advantage all the way to the wire. She was clear by a length entering in the stretch, but there were several interested in making a run. Briefly, we had a four wide battle for second, which quickly became five of them when Demanding Commander pushed through a gap near the exit of the turn. This would result in Demanding Commander being in the fourth position entering the stretch, and she would prepare to pass All By Myself for third. The bigger problem, other than Omnibus, for Demanding Commander would be Painville. That one had a strong trip throughout the race, and she never had to worry about Fangs Of The Storm falling into her lap. This would allow her to gain a potentially crucial length advantage over the horse that she had been running right next to over the backstretch. However, she was still about four wide. Meanwhile, Fangs Of The Storm began to drop to the back, and Swam Pass wasn’t looking much better. Lucky Star continued to run wide in the middle of the field. Toxins was showing late interest and pulled evenly with Ma Petite Penne. Creepy Chili was making a minor advantage, and The Great Enabler was looking like an also ran.
(Finish- 1:33.01)- In the stretch, Omnibus is doing the best he can, but all High Voltage was hoping for now was to hit the board. Both Painville and Demanding Commander weren’t going to fly on by, but they were making enough progress with every stride that they were clearly going to both get by. Now, the question would be, which of these two would get the win? Demanding Commander was gaining on Painville, but was it going to be enough? They were heads apart approaching the wire, and in the dying moments of the race, Demanding Commander would get the upper hand, prevailing in the end, officially by a neck. Painville had a solid second, and maybe if she wasn’t outside the whole race, it would have been her in the winner’s circle. That said, keep in mind that Demanding Commander did not have a smooth trip either, as in the early portions of the race, she has Fangs Of The Storm half-length back into her. Omnibus does hang on for third, and the late running Toxins gets fourth place spoils for her effort. It’s a half-length to All By Myself, who couldn’t keep up with those she had been running with. From the center of the track, Lucky Star runs sixth, topping Creepy Chili. The rest were particular disappointments. The Great Enable, Ma Petite Penne, Swam Pass, and Fangs Of The Storm round it out.
About The Winner- Demanding Commander, trained by Mb Stables and ridden to victory by L Saez, is a four-year-old filly by Twin Towers, and is out of Aeneid. She was bred in California as a yearling by Hippyheart, and was acquired by Mb Stables in April of this year for $625.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her ninth in 22 starts, and her seventh stake win, all of which are graded. Her career earnings are now $1,974.640.
Time: :23 :462 1:093 1:33
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 2 – 4 Paid 77.50
$1 Trifecta: 2 – 4 – 5 Paid 1,589.40
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES