By Ryan Martin

Winless since taking the 2017 edition of the $60,000 Star Guitar Stakes, Grande Basin ($19.00, $8.40 and $4.80) returned to the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots winner’s circle in the Closing Day feature.

Owned by William Deckwa and John Carbo, the 7-year-old son of Good and Tough was fifth in the race’s early stages as 24-1 long shot Pound For Pound set opening fractions of  25.98, 50.27 and 1:15.10. Into the stretch, the pacesetter maintained his lead but was unable to hold off an inside drive from Grande Basin who beat out Pound For Pound ($16.00 and $8.80)  by a neck. Payday Too ($7.20) finished third.

Completing the order of finish were Mageez, Budro Talking, Underpressure and Gladyousawme.

Grande Basin was guided by jockey Miguel Mena.

“I’m so thankful for the horse and the connections,” Mena said. “This horse is a nice horse. I love him to death. I like riding him here. We like each other, we like the rail and we got through on the fence and it worked out for us. The pace was slow but we were right there a couple legnths off. I was just afraid the horse on the lead would spring home as slow as he went, but he got the job done.”

Grande Basin seven of his 49 career starts, all seven of his triumphs have taken place at Fair Grounds.

“This horse loves the Fair Grounds, he likes the stretch,” trainer Eddie Johnston said. “When we get here he’s a totally different horse. In the summer time we hang around but when he gets here he loves the Fair Grounds and he shows it. The horse is a very sound, always has been.”

Grande Basin enhanced his career earnings to $445,312 after banking $36,000 from the win. Multiple stakes placed against stakes company, his only other stakes win was the Star Guitar Stakes two years ago.

Grande Basin was bred in Louisiana by Coteau Grove Farms. He is out of the graded stakes placed Dispersal broodmare Silver Rail.