07/26/2012 3:37PM

Ellis: Ageless Grand Traverse faces nine in Coup


Grand Traverse is showing few signs of aging, as evidenced by the way the 9-year-old gelding ran off to a 3 1/4-length victory in an allowance race at Indiana Downs last month, earning a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.

“He’s been an amazing horse,” said Lori Hebel-Osborne, who heads the Mimicry Partnership that has owned Grand Traverse throughout his 54-race career. “He really does love his job.”

On Saturday at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., Grand Traverse once again will get a chance to flaunt his youthful vigor when he runs in the $37,000 Coup, an overnight handicap that highlights a nine-race card. First post is 12:50 p.m. Central, with the Coup (race 6) going at 3:30. John McKee rides Grand Traverse, a $432,900 earner who was assigned post 1 in the 5 1/2-furlong turf race.

The field of 10, which includes one main-track-only entrant, does not lack for stern opposition. It includes Latigo Shore (post 6, Brian Hernandez Jr.), who returns after being overmatched in a $150,000 race at Parx last month; Steve’s Double (post 8, Gabriel Saez), an earner of nearly $540,000; and a pair of 3-year-olds on the improve, Icon Ike (post 2, Ramon Vazquez) and Jasizzle (post 4, Matthew Straight).

The next stakes at Ellis comes in two Saturdays with the annual meet highlight, the Grade 3, $100,000 Gardenia Stakes.