Some thoughts on the Demoiselle and Golden Rod

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Jen Caldwell

December 6th, 2014

Condo Commando (NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)With the Demoiselle and Golden Rod now done and over, there is only one more graded race left this year for two-year-old fillies – the Grade 1 Starlet at Los Alamitos on December 13.

True, the girls can run in the Los Alamitos Futurity – also a Grade 1 that takes place on December 20 – but for the most part the juvenile filly season is coming to a close.

Both the Demoiselle and Golden Rod are part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of races that offer points towards a starting berth for the “Run for the Lilies.” The winners of the races each received 10 points, the runner-ups got four, third place was worth two and fourth was awarded one.

While the Golden Rod actually took place at Churchill Downs, the track over which the Kentucky Oaks is run each year, it was Aqueduct’s Demoiselle that really captured everyone’s attention.

Condo Commando’s double-digit length win in the Demoiselle, as well as the August 31 Spinaway, should garner some major notice. The dark bay miss earned a 102 BRIS Speed rating for the Demoiselle, her first triple-digit Speed number, and she’s always thrown up triple-digit BRIS E2 Pace figures in her four races thus far.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Condo Commando received some acknowledgement from Eclipse voters, though it’s unlikely she could make up enough ground on Take Charge Brandi and Lady Eli to be named champion two-year-old filly of 2014. Take Charge Brandi, expected to contest the Starlet, could actually wrap up the championship if she captures that contest on the heels of her BC Juvenile Fillies and Delta Downs Princess victories.

West Coast Belle (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)As for West Coast Belle, her win in the Golden Rod moved her record to a perfect three-for-three. The gray Tapit filly settled two-wide in midpack on the backstretch before angling out and picking off rivals nearing the turn. She circled the leaders six wide while rounding the turn before rallying down the center of the track to win under encouragement from her rider.

West Coast Belle may be unbeaten thus far, with two of those wins coming at Churchill thanks to her 6 3/4-length stakes bow score in the Rags to Riches on October 26, but her numbers just aren’t that exciting. She earned a 91 BRIS Speed figure for both the Rags to Riches and Golden Rod, which followed an 80 number for her career debut at Monmouth Park.

West Coast Belle has plenty of room for improvement, and she could be like so many who progress with time. Condo Commando, on the other hand, might be a flash in the pan, burning up the track as a juvenile but unable to carry that form forward into her sophomore campaign.

Either way, both fillies have taken the first step on a road that leads to the Kentucky Oaks. That road has many twists and turns, as well as paths that feed into and branch off from that ultimate goal, so the months ahead should prove quite exhilarating.

Top Left Photo: Condo Commando (NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)
Bottom Right Photo: West Coast Belle (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)