Gran Gabriel made her second appearance this season in Open company a winning one as she captured the $24,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (April 27) in a lifetime best effort. Driver Jason Dillander picked up the drive for trainer Terry Cullipher after Cullipher opted to drive stable mate, Carmen O from post five.
Gran Gabriel was unhurried out of the gate as she left from post three to find herself third along the rail through the opening turn. Josh Sutton and Tyler Smith were in an early battle for the lead as Smith and Aqua Artist found the front end through a first quarter split of :27. However, their lead was short lived as Ronnie Wrenn Jr. urged C R Hope to the outside and had control of the field by the halfway point in a time of :55.4. Gran Gabriel and Dillander were perfectly placed third along the rail with Keene Supreme and Ed Hensley following closely in fourth.
The tempo of the race continued as Cadie’s Gotta Gun and Dale Hiteman were the first to make a run at the leader heading into the final turn through a three-quarter clocking in 1:25.0. As the field began to fan out across the track, Dillander was able to steer Gran Gabriel through traffic to stop the clock in 1:52.4 over the bettor’s choice, Hoponit. Forever Showin Off and Charlie Conrad came into the picture late from the back of the pack to rally for the third place finish.
Trained by Terry Cullipher, Gran Gabriel has now earned over $150,000 lifetime in 33 starts. Sired by Dontgetinmyway, the four-year-old mare is owned by Gary Hayes. Gran Gabriel returned $10.60 for the win. The exacta including Gran Gabriel and the heavily favored Hoponit paid $87.00 with the trifecta paying $156.10.