When first-class horses get second-class rides, they often fail. That happened to Mom's Command today.
After carrying her owner's daughter, jockey Abigail Fuller, to five straight easy victories and a sweep of the filly Triple Crown, the brilliant 3-year-old needed a little help in the stretch today. She didn't get it, and Lady's Secret was able to score a two-length victory in the Test Stakes at Saratoga.
This seven-furlong event was designed as a prep for the historic Alabama Stakes, but it generated interest in its own right because it brought together the East's two fastest 3-year-old fillies, Mom's Command and Majestic Folly.
The two battled for the lead through a quarter mile in 22 1/5 seconds and a half in :44 4/5, as Lady's Secret stayed close on the outside.
Jockey Jerry Bailey, aboard Majestic Folly, kept Fuller pinned to the rail as they turned into the stretch and inched in front of her. Then Jorge Velasquez made his move with Lady's Secret and the leaders were three abreast.
Less than a furlong from the finish, as her rivals had moved in front of her, Fuller chose to abandon her position on the rail, stopped riding for a couple of strides, and angled Mom's Command outside.
By now, Lady's Secret had taken command, although when Mom's Command regained her momentum she caught Majestic Folly in the final strides to finish second. The winning time was 1:21 3/5.