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Wild About Marie Wins Bienville; Rosie Hits 100 Wins
Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Wild About Marie, allowed to settle just behind the early leaders, launched a strong bid in the final furlong to capture Saturday’s 25th anniversary edition of Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Bienville Stakes for older fillies and mares at about 5 1/2-furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course by three-quarters of a length.
Ridden by Richard Eramia and trained by Jeff Thornbury, Wild About Marie accomplished the distance over the grass rated firm in 1:05.15, increased her career earnings to $160,150 and won her fifth race from 11 lifetime starts and returned mutuels of $11.60 $6 and $3.40.
“She broke sharp but I put her behind the speed,” said Eramia right after the race. “Then I just waited for my spot. The horse ran a good race. She finished strong.”
Melnyk Racing Stables’ Mullins Beach rallied late to gain the place, paying $6.80 and $3.80, but could not match the winner.
Team Valor International and Highfield Stock Farm’s Chantilly Nayla found her best stride late to finish third, a length and a half behind Mullins Beach and returned $2.80 to show.
Andrena Van Doren’s Starlite Starbrite made the pace with early fractions of 22.54 and 47.37 but weakened to fourth in the late stages.
ROSIE NAPRAVNIK RIDES 100TH WINNER THIS WINTER AT FAIR GROUNDS – Leading rider Rosie Napravnik became the first jockey in four years to win 100 or more races during a Fair Grounds meeting when she hit the century mark aboard Charles Fletcher’s Baltimore Bob for trainer Cody Autry in Saturday’s fifth race. Earlier in the afternoon Napravnik won the third race astride Curragh Mon, owned by Barrett Racing Stable and trained by Mike Stidham.
The last rider to win hit the local winner’s circle more than 100 times was Joe Talamo, who rode 118 winners during Fair Grounds’ 2006-2007 meeting. Seven-time Fair Grounds jockey champion Robby Albarado, sidelined by a broken heel suffered earlier in the meeting but slated to return to action shortly, rode more than 100 winners during six of his seven local jockey championships.
Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds with an 11-race program beginning at 12:40 p.m.