03/19/2011 7:03PM

Perfect Fair Grounds season for Wild About Marie

Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges Jr.
Wild About Marie (right) wins her third race of the Fair Grounds meet.

Just five racing days remain in the 2010-2011 Fair Grounds meeting – much to the chagrin of Wild About Marie’s connections.

Wild About Marie has made three starts on the Fair Grounds grass course this winter and won all of them, capping her New Orleans season with a three-quarter-length win in the $59,400 Bienville Stakes on Saturday.

Trained by Jeff Thornbury for owners Ike and Dawn Thrash, Wild About Marie was racing in a $15,000 maiden claimer at Hoosier just last August, but she has turned out to be a much better filly than that, especially since finding her way onto the Fair Grounds turf. She won a second-level allowance race in December, the Leggio Memorial in January, and adapted to different race tactics in the Bienville, rating farther off the pace than she had in her two previous wins at the meet.

With tepid favorite Starlite Starbrite setting splits of 22.54 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 47.37 to the half, Wild About Marie and jockey Richard Eramia raced along the inside in third. Starlite Starbrite clung to the lead partway through the stretch, but Wild About Marie had running room and momentum, seizing command in the final furlong and comfortably holding clear a late run from Mullins Beach. Chantilly Nayla finished another 1 1/2 lengths back in third.

The winner, a daughter of Wildcat Heir, was timed in 1:05.15 for 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf. She paid $11.60 to win.