Updated on 09/18/2011 1:39AM

Kid Grindstone beats Patriot Act by a neck


Kid Grindstone had some early pace, Patriot Act had none, and that was all the difference in the Tenacious Handicap on Saturday at Fair Grounds. Seizing the lead from lone-speed Tepexpan at the top of the long Fair Grounds stretch, Kid Grindstone had just enough in the tank to hold clear a fast-finishing Patriot Act to win the Tenacious by a diminishing neck.

Patriot Act, long on reputation but still not a stakes winner on the eve of his 5th birthday, might be the horse to watch in Fair Grounds stakes early in 2007, but on this day it was Kid Grindstone who got the candy,

winning a stakes race at his fourth different track this year for owner Avers Wexler, trainer Mike Campbell, and Campbell's son Jesse, a rider who has made a surprising early impact on this meet.

Kid Grindstone ($7), benefited from a field that scratched from six to five when Salic Law came out of the race, and Salic Law's absence left Tepexpan - more a mid-level claimer than stakes horse - as the only true speed in the race. Fair Grounds produced average times on Saturday, which made Tepexpan's early pace of 25.26 seconds for the opening quarter and 49.46 to the half exceedingly slow. And while Kid Grindstone tracked on the outside, keeping Tepexpan well within range, Patriot Act and jockey Robby Albarado fell out the back door,

trailing the early leader by at least 10 lengths with a half-mile to run.

Campbell and Kid Grindstone went after Tepexpan on the far turn and caught him at the quarter pole. But a clear lead a furlong from the wire began eroding as Patriot Act, still last at the top of the stretch, started rolling. The run came too late. Kid Grindstone just lasted, getting the 1 1/16 miles in a decent 1:44.20, with Tepexpan holding third, followed by Estevan and Pressed, the distant trailer.