08/11/2012 2:20PM

Hoosier Park: Grand Traverse going strong at age 9

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Grand Traverse is getting a little long in the tooth at age 9, but his trainer, Tim Glyshaw, says he is racing like a younger horse. On Tuesday evening, Grand Traverse, an earner of $440,000, faces five rivals in a $50,000 optional claiming race at Hoosier Park.

“He doesn’t seem to lose anything,” Glyshaw said. “He’s had a couple of bang-up races lately. I couldn’t be happier about how he came back off his layoff.”

Grand Traverse has run three time following six months away from the races. A gelded son of Pioneering, he finished third, beaten only a neck in a $25,000 claiming race May 26 at Churchill, then won an optional claiming race at Indiana Downs by more than three lengths June 29. Glyshaw tried his charge in an Ellis Park turf sprint last time out and he finished second, beaten only a head, in the overnight handicap. On Tuesday, Grand Traverse will move back to dirt in Hoosier’s six-furlong feature.

Glyshaw was impressed with Grand Traverse’s race at Ellis Park.

“The horse that beat him, Icon Ike, is a 3-year-old who has won has won 5 of last 6,” Glyshaw said.

Tuesday’s race has an abundance of early speed, which is a huge plus for Grand Traverse, according to Glyshaw.

“He really likes to chase other horses and then go by them,” he said. “That is when he is at his best, when he is chasing. It should set up great for him.”

Grand Traverse is stabled at Churchill Downs and will ship up the day of the race.

“It isn’t that far up the road, and that is what we like to do,” said Glyshaw, who has won 3 of 6 starts this meet at Hoosier.

Johnny McKee will ride.

Moe Man will be turning back in distance from 1 1/16 miles for trainer Ian Wilkes and could pick up the pieces if Grand Traverse chases too fast a pace. A 5-year-old gelding, Moe Man has raced twice since last season, finishing fourth both times. On June 16, his first start since last November, Moe Man lost by 1 1/4 lengths after being nearly 12 lengths off the lead early in an optional claiming race going a mile at Churchill. On July 12, Moe Man lost by over 11 lengths in the $104,000 Golden Bear Stakes at Indiana Downs after making a nice middle move to reach the lead after six furlongs. A son of Yes It’s True, Moe Man has a win from two local starts, and leading rider Leandro Goncalves will ride.

The other entrants are Doinmysongndance, Biscotto, Muhaaseb, and Conchaser.