When It’s Time To Go, ‘Fancy’ Is All Business

Fancy Like That
Published: May 13, 2024 04:26 pm EDT

Kasey Bendix is never sure which version of Fancy Like That she will encounter on a day-to-day basis, but she is always certain of the one that will get behind the starting gate.

Fancy Like That, a Maryland Sire Stakes champion last season at age two, will look to add another title to her résumé on Tuesday when she competes in the $87,500 USD Maryland Sire Stakes final for three-year-old female pacers at Rosecroft Raceway.

Bendix shares breeding and ownership credits with her aunt, Virginia Marvel, and trains the filly in addition to working as a pharmacy tech.

“I love her to death, but she will make you pull your hair out,” Bendix said with a laugh about Fancy Like That. “Some days, she’s really loving and sweet. Other days, she’s pure mare and wants nothing to do with you. If she makes up her mind that she’s not going to do something, she is not going to do it. She has been that way since she hit the ground. She definitely made me bite my fingernails all the way up to the time she started racing.

“But once you put the harness on her and get her out there, she is all business. I like her tenacity. She knows what she’s supposed to do, and she’s going to give you a hundred per cent no matter what. She’s got that grit.”

Fancy Like That is a daughter of stallion Rustys For Real and the fourth foal out of the mare Scootin Woody. Her homebred full brother, Rustys Rockin, was a Maryland Sire Stakes runner-up at age three in 2022 at Rosecroft.

“He was a decent racehorse; he had breathing problems, but he had the speed,” said Bendix. “I do like the Rustys For Reals. They seem like they have a pretty decent attitude, and they want to race.”

Fancy Like That finished no worse than second in nine of 11 races last year, winning seven. She closed her campaign with three consecutive victories, including her 1:54.2 triumph in the Sire Stakes championship. For her career, she has won 10 of 18 races and earned $92,631. All but two of her losses have come when facing older horses.

On Tuesday, she will start from post four in a field of five with Johnathan Ahle — Rosecroft’s leading driver — in the sulky. She is the 8-5 morning-line favourite.

“We thought she had potential when she was training down [as a two-year-old], we just weren’t sure how fast she was,” said Bendix. “I still don’t think we know how fast she is.”

Bendix has been working around horses since she was 10 or 11. She eventually got a groom’s license and later bought her first horse with her aunt at the age of 18. She began training in 2021 and got her first win in June of that year with pacer Always Strong at Ocean Downs.

“It just seemed like the next logical step in the business,” Bendix said about training. “Horses are a love, and they have been since I was little. I love the companionship they give you, and their personalities. Every one of them has a different personality. And I like bringing the babies up, watching them grow and develop into what their potential is.”

A lifelong resident of Maryland, Bendix has six horses in her stable.

“It keeps me busy,” said Bendix, adding with a laugh, “It definitely keeps me out of trouble.”

Rosecroft will also host Maryland Sire Stakes finals for three-year-old male pacers and sophomore male and female trotters on Tuesday. The event for filly trotters is a non-wagering race that will be contested at 6:50 p.m. (EDT). The remaining finals lead the regular card, which gets underway at 7:15 p.m. The track's Winter/Spring Meet ends on Saturday.

Free Rosecroft Raceway programs are available on the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association website at cloverleafsoa.org.


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