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West Ocean Sets Course Record With Powerful Late Kick in Bienville

In Friday’s 24th running of the $57,600 Bienville Stakes for older fillies and mares, the Todd Pletcher-trained West Ocean ran the fastest 5 ½ furlongs on turf in Fair Grounds history while stopping the teletimer in 1:02.73. The 4-year-old filly’s time eclipsed My Lord’s six-year standard of 1:02.90 established on March 27, 2004.

West Ocean, who was unhurried early on, closed with a powerful late kick under jockey Javier Castellano to defeat Selva by five lengths.

“She rolled out of the gate and I put her in a good spot to keep track of all the other horses,” Castellano said. “Turning for home, I asked her at the eighth pole and she took off. She finished very, very well today.”

        Seeking Ms Shelley finished another 1 ¼ lengths back in third. West Ocean, owned by brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer of France, paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.60 as the $1.40 favorite in the field of six. The South Florida invader earned $36,000 for the win – her fourth in seven starts – and padded her career bankroll to $159,640.