Sondra Bender's Foufa's Warrior added another prize to his owner's burgeoning collection of Maryland Jockey Club trophies with a hard fought victory in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship Tuesday at Laurel.
His win was the seventh stakes tally for Mrs. Bender this year.
Foufa's Warrior lagged early but closed relentlessly to beat front-running Ironton by just a neck. Cheverly Gold battled gamely down the stretch between that pair but could finish no better than third. The winning time was 1:52.23 for the 1 1/8-mile distance. Foufa's Warrior, a son of Jade Hunter who was bred by Mrs. Bender and her husband Howard, paid $7.60.
Winning rider Harry Vega said, "It's just amazing how many gears he's going to have. You have to take advantage of it. He settles and the throttles and he just goes on with it."
"He's always acted like a very special horse," winning trainer Larry Murray said. "I was glad to see him win this today. He's a late foal and hopefully he has a lot of improvement in front of him. He kind of reminds you of a turf horse with his action but he can run on the dirt, too."