03/25/2009 11:00PM

Grand Traverse goes long


Grand Traverse has shown himself to be a quality sprinter, as evidenced by his runner-up finishes in two tough stakes this winter at Fair Grounds. Saturday night, he is out to expand his resume and will make a rare start around two turns in the $50,000 B-Connected at Delta Downs.

The one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up is restricted to horses who have never won a stakes, and will share the meet's closing night card with the $50,000 Lookout.

Grand Traverse could go favored on the strength of the Beyer Speed Figure of 95 that he earned in his last start March 6, when he won a $30,000 optional claiming sprint at Delta. His connections said his strong gallop-out following the race is one of the reasons he will be moving back to two turns for the first time since last October, when he was fourth in the $100,000 Schaefer Mile at Hoosier Park.

"This is sort of another experiment to see if he can do it," said Tim Glyshaw, who trains Grand Traverse for Mimicry Partnership. "I think he can. He's bred to do it."

Glyshaw said all concerned wanted to give Grand Traverse another shot at a route distance because they felt the horse simply might have bounced in the Schaefer. He had won four consecutive sprint races between Churchill and Ellis Park heading into the race.

"With four increasing Beyers," said Glyshaw. "Our theory is that he just bounced in that race and that might have happened regardless of distance."

Grand Traverse will break from post 3, and might get a tracking trip behind the quick Stungbythestorm, who invades from Fair Grounds for trainer Steve Asmussen off a $40,000 optional claiming win, and True Course, who is making his second start since July for trainer Steve Margolis.

* Forestelle, who has zipped through her conditions in her last three starts, must step up in class once again for the one-mile Lookout. She won her maiden at Mountaineer in October then came back and won two allowances at Delta. The chief threat could be the multiple-stakes-placed Dubit.