ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2015)–The lone closer in what developed into a four-horse stampede for the lead, Ben’s Duchess, under Joe Talamo, wheeled five-wide turning for home and stormed to an impressive 3 ¼ length win in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 LA Woman Stakes for fillies and mares three and up at six furlongs. Trained by John Sadler, Ben’s Duchess got the distance in a rapid 1:15.79.
With 3-5 favorite Taris, Uzziel, Wasted At Midnight and Unforgettable U burning through splits of 21.29, 43.45 and 1:08.96 over a main track that was subsequently upgraded from good to fast, the winner lagged comfortably behind en route to her first-ever graded stakes win.
“I was smiling as I saw the race play out in front of me,” said Talamo, fresh back from New York and a win in Saturday’s Grade II Kelso at Belmont Park aboard Appealing Tale. “We had a really good trip. I kept her back and to the outside, because the kick-back was a little heavy. I came into the turn and I had so much horse.
“She runs her race every time, she’s hit the board every time she’s run. Even when she doesn’t win, she’s such a hard trying filly–so I had all the confidence in the world in her today.”
Off at 8-1, Ben’s Duchess paid $19.60, $8.00 and $3.20.
A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Munnings, Ben’s Duchess picked up $60,000 for her owners, Doubledown Stables, Inc. She improved her overall mark to 9-4-1-4 and increased her career earnings to $222,936.
“At the half mile pole, I was kind of smiling when they went 43 and change,” said Sadler assistant Larry Benavidez. “We kind of wanted to sit third. We thought the one (Unforgettable U) and the five (Taris) would go head and head. We didn’t think there would be four across the track, but when that materialized, I was smiling.”
Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Uzziel survived for the place, prevailing by a half length over Taris and Gary Stevens. Off at 5-1, Uzziel paid $5.40 and $2.40.
Trained by Simon Callaghan and an easy winner of the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap on Aug. 16, Taris finished up 3 ¼ lengths clear of Unforgettable U and paid $2.10 to show.
“We were four-wide the whole way and they went really quick on this track that is just a little slow,” said Callaghan. “I think that took its toll…I think under the circumstances it wasn’t a bad run, but going that quick and going wide, it was just a bad trip.”