Commendation took charge with an eighth of a mile remaining and drew away to a decisive victory in the $112,800 Bourbon County Stakes Friday at Keeneland.
The winner is a half-brother to Take Charge Lady, who captured the Overbrook Spinster Stakes earlier in the meeting. Ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, Commendation ran 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:43.99.
Commendation reached the finish line 2 ¾ lengths in front of Onearoundtwice. It was a half-length back to third-place Grand Heritage in the field of 10 2-year-olds.
Bachelor Blues, winner of the Summer Stakes at Woodbine in September and the 2-1 favorite under Robby Albarado, faded to eighth after setting the pace for more than three quarters of a mile.
Commendation is owned by Donald Adam's Courtlandt Farm and trained by Graham Motion. He paid $9, $5.40 and $3.20 as the second choice in the wagering.
After a last-place finish in his career debut, Commendation has won three of his four starts on the turf. "He really is not bred for the grass and at some point we're going to have to get him back on the dirt and see how he does," said Motion.
Oncearoundtwice returned $22.40 and $8. Grand Heritage paid $4.40 to show.
Keeneland's attendance Friday, the next-to-last day of the 17-day meeting, was 14,245.(Chart, Equibase)