NEW ORLEANS, LA – Robert and Lawana Low homebred She’sonthewarpath commenced a wide stretch bid to get the lead, then held sway late to nip a game Altea and win Saturday’s $100,000 Tom Benson Memorial Stakes Presented by Dixie Beer at Fair Grounds.
Breaking from post 8 under Chantal Sutherland at 7/2 odds, She’sonthewarpath sat within striking range early while racing along the outside of Notapradaprice. Up front, Fullness of Life set the pace, posting fractions of :23.54, :48.44, and 1:12.24 while Dream Passage and Desert Ride gave closest chase.
At the top of the stretch, Sutherland tipped She’sonthewarpath out and began gobbling up ground. Taking the lead just past the 1/8 pole, She’sonthewarpath couldn’t rest because Altea had broken free from between foes and was quickly streaking along the inside.
Fighting inches apart in deep stretch, neither one relented before hitting the wire in a photo finish. After a lengthy stewards’ review, She’sonthewarpath was given the nod by a nose. The Steve Margolis trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile event over the firm turf in a final time of 1:42.23.
“I thought I was going to be in the second lane,” Sutherland said. “She was quiet today. Quieter than normal. Maybe the heat or she just waits for me to tell her what to do now. We got that nice, sweet trip. I asked her to be a little close … when I asked her to gun it, she gunned it. I guess Joel (Rosario, aboard Altea) got through the fence somewhere, but she didn’t see him, so she started to relax, but I turned her head and was screaming; he was right there. I honestly didn’t know who got it. Warpath is just a star. Steve does such a good job with her and I am so grateful.”
A three-way photo for third went to Notapradaprice by a neck each over Winning Envelope and Dream Passage. Desert Ride was sixth, 3/4 of a length ahead of Strike My Fancy.
Completing the order of finish came a spent Fullness of Life, Joy Nidera, Flower Party, and Santino.
She’sonthewarpath’s win was her second straight, having taken the Albert Stall Memorial Stakes here on February 15, to improve her overall record to 11-5-1-2. The 4-year-old daughter of Declaration At War has now earned $288,705.
“She is just a filly that tries so hard,” Margolis said. “Chantal has a good rhythm and a good presence with her. (She’sonthewarpath) has that grit about her that when you go in the barn, she has that fight that you want a racehorse to have that you can’t breed into them. She just has the will to win. She has really turned out to be a nice older mare. We are just real happy with the day.”
She’sonthewarpath returned $9.40 to win, $4.80 to place, and $3.20 to show. Altea brought back $3.80 to place and $3 to show, while Notapradaprice paid $4.40 to show.