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Grand Teton Sparkles In 2019 Debut

Published: April 7, 2019 5:29 pm ET

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Diamond Creek Racing's Grand Teton ($3.60) kicked his four-year-old campaign off with a bang, as he dismissed a mid-stretch challenge from double millionaire Mach It So and recorded a 1:51 win in the $18,000 featured pace on Sunday (April 7) at Harrah's Philadelphia.

A stakes winner in 1:48.1 at three, the son of A Rocknroll Dance took full advantage of his class edge in the upper-level pacing event. He allowed Mach It So (who was driven by David Miller) to clear midway on the first turn before surging to the fore at the end of a :27.2 first quarter. Grand Teton then pulled the pace back before passing the half-mile marker in :56.1.

"I knew the move to make was going to the front," said driver Yannick Gingras.

Grand Teton remained uncontested as he picked up the tempo on the backstretch and posted a 1:23.2 three-quarter split. Off the home turn, Gingras asked Grand Teton for a bit more pace, and the nine-time winner responded immediately. He just as easily turned aside Mach It So's pocket rally with a sixteenth to go, and edged away by two and a half lengths. Cruise Patrol (George Napolitano Jr.) narrowly missed second after having stalked the top pair throughout.

Grand Teton, pictured coasting to a 1:51 victory in his four-year-old debut on April 7, 2019 at Harrah's Philadelphia.

"I asked him, but then he paced away," Gingras said of when Grand Teton faced his lone challenge of the mile. "He responded and he had some left. He raced really well."

Per Engblom trains Grand Teton, who eclipsed the half-million dollar mark in career earnings.

Live racing will return to Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday (April 11), with a 14-race card slated for a 12:25 p.m. first post.

(Harrah's Philadelphia)

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