Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and The Elkstone Group's Condo Commando took the lead soon after the start of Saturday's Grade 2, $400,000 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct and never looked back en route to an effortless 11 1/2-length victory under jockey Joel Rosario. The Rudy Rodriguez-trained juvenile lived up to her 3-2 favoritism while finishing 1 1/8 miles over the fast main track in 1:50 2/5.
"When you compare her fractions, her fractions were two to three seconds faster than the older fillies in the (Grade 3) Comely (earlier on Aqueduct's card), and she had no problem drawing away," Dubb noted. "We're over the moon. We knew at Saratoga she is a special horse, and she is."
As the Demoiselle is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series, Condo Commando earned 10 points toward a starting berth in that contest.
Rosario sent Condo Commando straight for the lead, but My Cara Mia, Calamity Kate and Angela Renee lined up with her heading into the first turn. The Tiz Wonderful filly easily shook loose from those challengers and proceeded to lead the way through splits of :23 4/5, :48 1/5, 1:12 3/5 and 1:37 1/5 while chased by Angela Renee. Calamity Kate and Quezon kept each other company in third and fourth, respectively.
Angela Renee put her best hoof forward, but just could not catch up to Condo Commando, who continued loping along in front heading into the turn. The dark bay miss increased her advantage with every stride in the lane as Calamity Kate just nipped Angela Renee for second by three parts of a length.
"She went easy, I never really had to ask her to go at all," Rosario said. "I didn't have to work hard to get to the lead and she was always comfortable. The horse was very relaxed and responsive, and anytime I asked her for more she was ready to go."
Condo Commando gave back $5.10 for the easy win, which improved her scorecard to 3-0-0 from four starts while nearly doubling her bankroll to $508,600. She's proven to be quite a bargain after selling for just $72,000 as a Keeneland September yearling.
Condo Commando's only loss to date came as a fourth-placing in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes going a mile over Belmont Park's sloppy, sealed dirt on October 4. Prior to that, she took her August 3 maiden debut by 12 lengths and the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes on August 31 by 13 lengths, both at Saratoga.
"She likes to be a free-running horse. If you take hold of her, she will fight you," Rodriguez explained. "To see her galloping along on the lead like that, I was very confident. I wasn't that disappointed in her last race, because she didn't break well and she was throwing her head around. Today, she broke very, very well.
"I didn't think the distance was going to be a problem because we'd given her some longer works. She was training very, very well," he added. "To see her do this today was very, very special. Maybe we'll give her a bit of a break now."
Bred by Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, Condo Commando is out of the multiple Grade 2-winning General Meeting mare Yearly Report, making her a half-sister to Grade 2-placed Checklist. The filly's extended female family includes Group 1 hero, Irish classic-placed and Breeders' Cup Mile third Brief Truce as well as multiple Canadian champion Dance Act.