October 6, 2015
Source: Blood-Horse (Written by Jeremy Balan)

Ben’s Duchess saw the rest of the field sprint away from her early on in the $100,000 LA Woman Stakes (gr. III), but unfurled a late rally to win her first graded event Oct. 4 at Santa Anita Park.

The rest of the four-horse field of fillies and mares—Unforgettable U, Wasted At Midnight, Uzziel, and heavily favored Taris—bolted from the gate and vied for the lead, four-wide up the backstretch and through the turn of the 6 1/2-furlong event— and set blazing fractions of :21.29 and :43.45 through a half-mile.

Ben’s Duchess, a 3-year-old daughter of Munnings trained by John Sadler, raced calmly in the rear early, as many as seven lengths behind, but surged past her tired rivals in the stretch and pulled clear to win by 3 1/4 lengths, ahead of Uzziel and Taris, who was another half-length behind. The winner hit the wire in 1:15.79 on a track rated fast.

“I was smiling when I saw the race play out in front of me,” winning jockey Joe Talamo said. “We had a really good trip. I kept her back and to the outside, because the kickback was a little heavy. I came into the turn and I had so much horse.”

Taris, the 3-5 favorite and a two-time graded winner, was on the far outside with jockey Gary Stevens the entire trip, through the backstretch and four-wide in the turn.

“We were four-wide the whole way and they went really quick on this track that is just a little slow,” said Simon Callaghan, who trains Taris. “I think that took its toll. The horse that sat back came and got them. I think under the circumstances it wasn’t a bad run, but going that quick and going wide—it was a bad trip.”

Off at 8-1, Ben’s Duchess paid $19.60, $8, and $3.20 across the board. Uzziel brought $5.40 and $2.40, while Taris delivered $2.10 to show.

Bred in Kentucky by Golden Pedigree out of the Sky Classic mare Armathwaite, Ben’s Duchess now has a 4-1-4 record from nine starts and $222,936 in earnings for owner Doubledown Stables. She came into the race as a two-time allowance winner and was second to Uzziel last time out in the C.E.R.F. Stakes at Del Mar Sept. 6.

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