`Promenade' to run in Spinster Stakes

Horse Racing

October 06, 2007|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun reporter

Laurel Park-based Promenade Girl, a Grade II winning mare who also has placed twice in Grade I stakes, is to run tomorrow in the Grade I, $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes at Keeneland.

Marylander Howard Bender, who with his wife, Sondra, bred and own the mare, said yesterday that if Promenade Girl wins the race, which would automatically qualify her for the Breeders' Cup, she "will probably go" to the races in Monmouth, N.J., Oct. 26-27.

But right now, the 5-year-old daughter of Carson City is tentatively scheduled to be sold Nov. 6 at the Lexington horse sales.

"The IRS says you have to show a profit sometime," Bender said. "Promenade Girl might get us into the black. Our farm has not been in the black in some time."

Bender said, however, that he and his wife are keeping their options open.

"[We] raised her," he said. "She's one of our favorites ... and we're trying to decide whether to keep her as a broodmare. As a breeder, you'd have to breed her to the top of the line. It's a long-term investment."

The Benders' trainer, Larry Murray, said the fee to breed Promenade Girl to a top Kentucky stallion would be $250,000 or more.

Bender said that while Maryland used to be very strong in breeding, "there are no longer any stallions here I can breed my horse to." Murray said the owner can't race Promenade Girl here, either, because of the cuts to the stakes schedule. And, both agree, it is hard to make money because of the cuts to the purses.

"It's gloomy," Bender said. "All the [bad] things everyone said would happen to Maryland racing are happening."

sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

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