09/25/2010 5:43PM

Grand Rapport cuts it close in Kent BC

Hoofprints Inc.
Grand Rapport hits the front in deep stretch of the Kent Breeders' Cup under Ramon Dominguez.

Grand Rapport, under Ramon Dominguez, timed his run perfectly to just get up at the wire for a half-length victory over Workin for Hops in Saturday’s Grade 3, $249,550 Kent Breeders’ Cup at Delaware Park.
Making just his third start on turf, Grand Rapport was the 9-5 favorite coming off a nose defeat to Interactif in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 13.
Dominguez, breaking from the rail in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, was in no rush and kept Grand Rapport toward the back of the eight-horse field. The son of Grand Reward raced in sixth, about four lengths off the lead, as Stormy Lord set a pedestrian pace of 25.45 seconds, 49.66, 1:13.05, and 1:36.70 while saving ground along the rail.
Workin for Hops tracked the pacesetter all the way around and was no more than two lengths behind until the stretch. He moved to the front in the final furlong but was unable to hold off Grand Rapport, who came between rivals on the turn and closed strongly in the final yards. Grand Rapport completed the distance on firm turf in 1:48.77.
“I was little worried about the slow early fractions, but it looked like he was well within himself,” winning trainer Gary Contessa said. “Plus, we had Ramon, who knows this course as good anybody. Once we made the turn for home and we started moving, I felt good.”
Stormy Lord, who was making his first start outside of Woodbine in Canada, finished another half-length back in third.
Interactif, who finished ahead of Grand Rapport in the Hall of Fame, made a move on the far turn but came up empty in the stretch. He finished sixth, five lengths behind the winner.
Contessa said the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 28 at Hollywood Park could be next for Grand Rapport.
Grand Rapport returned $5.80 for the win and improved his record to 3 wins from 6 starts. He has banked $262,139 for owner Earle I. Mack.
The Kent victory was Dominguez’s fourth in the race since 2001.