Monday, September 26, 2011

A year later, Benecia wins again, for the first time

A filly who in her second lifetime start became the 30th of my 187 juvenile sales selections to break her maiden -- but lost the win to a post-race drug screen -- has done so again nearly a year later, at the scene of her prior victory.

Benecia is now officially (barring another drug screen, I suppose), the 109th winner of that 187-member Sales-Tip Class of 2010. She scored last Thursday (Sept. 22, 2011) at Fairplex for the same connections that put her in the winner's circle there on Sept. 26, 2010, trainer Michael Pender, jockey Martin Pedroza and owners Robin Christensen, Michael Hudok, Jim Murray and MVP Racing Stable.

Sent off as the second-favorite Thursday at about 7/5 odds, Benecia "inhaled" race-favorite and leader Miss Mystic in the stretch to win by a widening 3 1/2 lengths. Energia Solaria at 47/1 sneaked into the exacta as the even-money favorite faded. Final time for 6 1/2 furlongs on the bullring was 1:20.34.

Benecia (More Than Ready-Empty Portrait, by Coronado's Quest) was bred in Kentucky by Fares Farms LLC. She has now posted a win and a third-place finish (in starter-allowance company before being stripped of her prior victory) from eight starts, for $15,070.

I tabbed the dark bay filly as one of my top, mostly bargain-minded prospects from Ocala's April sale of 2-year-olds in training, where she sold for $30,000 as Hip 998. "This filly breezed 10.2 and looked pretty fair doing it," I wrote then. Her dam "wasn't much of a runner," but her second dam was the G3-winning ILLERIA who produced seven stakes horses, including, well, INCLUDE, MAGIC BROAD, ENCAUSTIC, MAGICAL BROAD, Implicit, Loaded Brush and Invent.

With the 109th winner, the 187-member sales class boasted 58.3 percent winners. But that number soon would change -- this time for the better.

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