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Stakes Recap: Bradester Earns First Stakes Win in Grade III Mineshaft Handicap

Joseph Sutton’s Bradester tracked the pace throughout before edging clear of Maggi Moss’s Grand Contender by 1 ¼ lengthsin the lane to earn his first stakes victory in the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, stopping the clock in 1:43.80 for the 1 1/16 mile journey.


Ridden by Rosie Napravnik for trainer Eddie Kenneally, Bradester entered the Mineshaft off a frontrunning score against second-level allowance company at Gulfstream in January. He was making his first start against stakes foes since finishing second in the Grade II Indiana Derby last October.

“We sat in a great position,” said winning rider Napravnik, “and he wanted to wait, so it took some urging to get him to go past, but he’s just a classy horse.”

Bradester returned $15.40, $6.60, and $5.40 and increased his career earnings to $305,054 with the $90,000 winner’s share.

Grand Contender, trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by James Graham, cruised on an uncontested lead through splits of :24.08, :48.31, and 1:12.31 and stayed on for second, 1 ¾ lengths clear of Jim Tafel’s Fordubai, last-out winner of the Louisiana Handicap for trainer Greg Geier and jockey Robby Albarado. Grand Contender returned $6.00 and $3.80, while Fordubai paid $3.80.

Ground Transport, Afford, race favorite Prayer for Relief, Micromanage, Stephanoatsee, and Mister Marti Gras completed the order of finish.