Feel The Thunder Stable’s Gran Estreno, a two-time winner of the Grade III Washington Park Handicap over Arlington’s synthetic surface in Chicago, proved equally proficient in Grade III company on the grass by capturing Saturday’s Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap on Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson turf course with a clear-cut come-from-behind win by 1 1/4-lengths.
“He’s really adaptable,” said trainer Mike Stidham immediately after the race. “I told Rosie (winning jockey Anna Napravnik) to let him sit where he’s comfortable. She’s got a tremendous amount of ability and she can judge those things. He can be up close or he can come from the back. He continues to amaze me. He’s amazed me in his last four or five races, like he’s almost changed his style as an 8-year-old.”
Over the course of his lengthy career, the Argentine-bred Gran Estreno has won 14 times in 35 lifetime starts and amassed earnings of $543,175.
“He’s a great horse to ride,” said Napravnik, who was aboard Gran Estreno for the first time in a race. “I’ve watched him train in the mornings and he’s very cool to ride.”
Gran Estreno returned mutuels of $8.20, $4.40 and $3.20 and accomplished the about 1 1/16-mile distance over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated “yielding” in 1:46.04.
David Holloway Racing’s Dubious Miss pressed the early pace, could not stay with the winner when challenged in mid-stretch but continued willingly to be clearly second best, finishing a length to the good of Henry Pabst’s Joinem. Dubious Miss paid $6.20 and $3.80 while Joinem returned $3.60 to show.
Sam-Son Farms’ Red Strike made the pace in the Col. Bradley with early splits of 25.04 and 50.93 but weakened to fourth in the stretch.