08/06/2016 7:37PM

Sunbean registers first grass win in Louisiana Cup Turf Classic

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The millionaire Sunbean won the first turf race of his career Saturday at Louisiana Downs, when he forged to a length win over Benwill in the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic. It was another nose back in third to Berniestrike.

The Turf Classic was one of seven stakes on the card. The program worth $450,000 included the Prelude, the prep for next month’s Grade 3, $400,000 Super Derby that was won by Texas Chrome ($8.20). The other stakes were divisional races restricted to horses bred in Louisiana.

Sunbean ($16.40) had made just one other start on turf in his career, and finished fourth in the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace in February at Fair Grounds. He was content to stalk the pace Saturday, settling in behind Berniestrike and Hail to the Nile, who dueled through an opening quarter-mile in 23.64 seconds, a half-mile in 48.36, and six furlongs in 1:12.39.

Sunbean, riding the rail, angled off the fence into the stretch and was in a drive to the wire. He covered 1 1/16 miles on firm ground in 1:41.89. Richard Eramia was aboard the winner for trainer Ron Faucheux.

String King, who was seeking his fourth consecutive win in the Louisiana Cup Turf Classic, finished seventh as the 4-5 favorite.

Sunbean was winning his 14th career stakes race. He is a son of Brahms and races for his breeder, Brittlyn Stable. Sunbean has now won 15 of 25 career starts for earnings of $1,112,250. 

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Jockey Diego Saenz had a double on the card, taking the opener, the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies, with Chases Dixie Belle ($8.80), and the second race, the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, with Calamity Jane ($4.60). Saenz is based at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La.

Chases Dixie Belle became a stakes winner, when she stalked the pace and darted clear by two lengths over Long Legged Model. The winner covered six furlongs on a fast track in 1:12.78. Chases Dixie Belle is by My Pal Charlie and she races for Bobby Salome and is trained by Charles Hukill.

 

Calamity Jane also became a stakes winner Saturday, when she defeated older rivals in the Distaff. The filly, a 3-year-old by Cowboy Cal, closed for a three-quarter length win over Kinky Vow. Calamity Jane covered 1 1/16 miles  on turf in 1:42.83. Eddie Johnston Jr. trains the winner for Keith Plaisance.

 Gentlemengentlemen ($26.60) set the pace and prevailed by a half-length over Street Honor in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile. The winner covered six furlongs in 1:12.63. Williams Naupac was aboard for Wilburn Smith and trainer Bob Schultz. Gentlemengentlemen, who is now 2 for 2, is a son of Yankee Gentleman.

 Greeley’s Wish ($7.20) won his third consecutive race – and first in a stakes – in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint. He was a half-length winner over So Sorry Ruston. Greeley’s Wish covered six furlongs in 1:10.93. John Jacinto was aboard the horse, who is a son of Greeley’s Galaxy, for owner-trainer Brian Schweda.

Look Into My Eyes ($13.20) won her fourth race in her last five starts when she sailed home by 2 1/2 lengths over Smittys Cougar in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Edgard Zayas was aboard for trainer Efren Loza Jr. Look Into My Eyes is by City Zip and she races for Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti. She covered six furlongs in 1:10.35.