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Bastiano Gallant At Grand River

Published: September 8, 2021 10:53 pm ET

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Bernie Bahr's Bastiano ($9.10) was challenged not once, but twice — yet, he clung gallantly to a 1:58.1 win in Wednesday's (Sept. 8) $11,500 Preferred 2-3 Handicap Trot at Grand River Raceway.

Scott Coulter protected inside position with the seven-year-old Angus Hall gelding, seating Tymal Houdini into the pocket through a :27.4 first quarter and then rating a :58 half before Wild And Crazy Guy (Martin Lachance) advanced from fourth to pose a stern first-over threat on the second circuit. Bastiano used a :29.2 third sectional to parry Wild And Crazy Guy, but Bob McClure mounted a powerful three-wide push from last with Los Ballykeelamigo into the far turn — and to a narrow head-stretch lead.

Off the corner for home, Bastiano found just enough to counter Los Ballykeelamigo's sweeping move, getting his nose down on the finish line just in time. Horse Trader (J.B. Renaud) rallied from astern to finis third, beaten 4-1/2 lengths.

Shane Arsenault trains 23-time winner Bastiano.

In the sub-featured $8,500 Preferred 3 for distaff pacers, Born A Dragon ($3.40) pushed three-wide from mid-division to overhaul pacesetter Reys N A Rocket and hold off pocket rival Emblynette by a half length in 1:54.3. Driver Travis Cullen co-owns the six-year-old Custard The Dragon mare with Paul Sanders. Jodie Cullen trains the 19-time winner.

A lone $7,000 Ontario Prospect Series event for two-year-old trotting fillies opened the trio of headlining events on the 10-race card, and Tioga Sunshine ($4.40) held off odds-on choice Molise by a head for a 2:03.3 maiden-breaking win. Travis Henry drove the Muscle Mass-Starfall Winner filly for trainer Harry Poulton and the partnership of Thestable Tioga Sunshine and breeder Little E LLC.

To view Wednesday's complete results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Grand River Raceway.

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