“I considered her the first lady of Maryland racing,” Larry Murray, who has trained for Bender since 1988 and is the farm manager at Glade Valley, said in a news release. “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.”
Bender is tied atop the Maryland Million owner rankings with five victories and has bred four winners.
La Reine’s Terms had two of those Maryland Million wins 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.
The 2002 season was Sondra Bender’s best, as she captured 13 stakes races with seven different horses and finished 53rd on the North American money list with $1.3 million. She bred nine stakes winners that year, including seven who competed in her familiar gold and black colors.
A memorial service will be held at Beth El Synagogue in Bethesda at 10 a.m. Friday morning.