- 24 Feb
The Maryland racing community lost one of its most prominent members when owner and breeder Sondra Bender passed away Wednesday afternoon after a battle with uterine cancer. She was 78 years old. A resident of Bethesda, Sondra and her husband Howard owned Glade Valley Farm in Frederick.
“I considered her the first lady of Maryland racing,” said Larry Murray, who has trained for Bender since 1988 and is the farm manager at Glade Valley. “She enjoyed the game and was very classy. She took the bad just as well as the good. They enjoyed it together. It was very rare to see them apart. I hope Mr. Bender can find some solace in the races without her.”
The Benders owned two horses who competed in Triple Crown races. Southern Appeal finished 13th in the 1986 Kentucky Derby, while Foufa’s Warrior was seventh in the 2003 Preakness Stakes.
Bender is all over the Maryland Million record books. She is tied atop the owner rankings with five victories and has bred four winners.
La Reine’s Terms had two of those Maryland Million scores and was the stable’s most successful runner. The son of Private Terms, who was bred by Bender in 1995, won 11 stakes races including five in 2002 on five different turf courses. La Reine’s Terms retired with $804,591 in earnings after a score in the 2005 Maryland Million Turf at the age of 10, off a year layoff.