The winner shadowed early leaders Hero Force and Easy Strike, challenged outside those in upper stretch, took clear command at the furlong marker, and increased the margin with intermittent urging from jockey Richard Eramia.
"All I got to do (with this horse) is keep him clear," said Eramia, who partnered with the 4-year-old Brahams gelding to win the Feb. 1 Louisiana-bred Premier Night Championship Stakes at Delta Downs, the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds Dec. 14, and the Gold Cup Stakes back at Delta last November.
Glen Warren's Hud's Rebellion, victor in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf on that same Dec. 14 card, rallied late to be clearly best of the others, finishing 2 1/4 lengths to the good of Klaravich Stable and William Lawrence's Populist Politics, who lacked the needed late response.
Sunbean returned $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10 to his many backers, while Hud's Rebellion paid $3.20 and $2.20 and Populist Politics returned $2.20 to show. Hero Force made the pace with splits of :25.10 and :49.66, but weakened to fourth from the effort. Johnny Handsome and Easy Strike completed the order of finish.
Bred by Evelyn Benoit's Brittlyn Farm out of the Malagra mare X Strawdinar, Sunbean increased his career earnings to $534,900 with his eighth victory from 13 lifetime starts. The race he won was named after Brittlyn's homebred Star Guitar, a three-time Louisiana-bred Horse of the Year and the all-time leading Louisiana-bred money earner. Star Guitar, now standing at Clear Creek Stud, won 22 stakes and was elected to the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame in 2013.
"He's just a real nice horse to train," winning trainer Ron Faucheux said of Sunbean. "As long as Mrs. Benoit keeps sending me these good horses that she breeds it makes my job easy."