07/30/2005 12:00AM

Grand Bank captures Island Whirl

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Bossier City, La - Grand Bank made his stakes debut a winning one Saturday afternoon at Harrah's Louisiana Downs as he wore down pacesetter Rodeo's Castle to capture the Island Whirl Stakes. That Tat, the winner of this race last season, finished a length back in third followed by longshot Smalltown Slew.

Leading rider John Jacinto saved all the ground on board Grand Bank ($6.40) while prompting Rodeo's through early factions of :22.14 of :44.78. The top two finishers raced as a team the final furlong with only a neck separating them at the wire in a time of 1:09.47 for the six furlongs.

Trained by Cole Norman for Courtlandt Farms, Grand Bank has now won half of his ten starts. Saturday's payday of $30,000 was his largest to date and the 4-year-old Dixieland Band colt has now earned just over $90,000.