Gran Estreno Wins $54k Turf Feature

Feel the Thunder Stables’ Gran Estreno, two-time winner of the Grade III Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park, closed steadily in the final furlong and inched clear to win by a half-length over Stacey Moak’s Southern Anthem in Wednesday’s $54,000 allowance/optional claiming feature for older horses at 1 1/16 miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course.

The 7-year-old Argentine-bred son of Lucky Roberto, trained by Mike Stidham and ridden by Robby Albarado, completed the distance over firm going in 1:46.02 to win for the 13th time in 34 career starts while boosting his lifetime earnings to $483,175.

“This horse has been so honest for us and he’s one of those horses that you can really count on,” Stidham said, adding that Gran Estreno’s next start will likely come in Sam Houston Race Park’s Grade III, $200,000 Connally Turf Cup on Jan. 29.

The odds-on favorite Gran Estreno returned mutuels of $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10 while Southern Anthem paid $3 and $2.20 and Lael Stables’ Ready Set, another 1 ¼ lengths back in third, returned $3.

Racing resumes with a 10-race program on Thursday with a 12:40 p.m. post time. There will be no live racing on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.