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Grand Junction wins finale

December 21, 2006

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Grand Junction Co. won Wednesday night\'s $10,000 final of the Incredible Finale Series for Illinois-bred 2-year-old colt pacers at Balmoral Park. Coming off a pair of tough-luck third and fourth-place finishes in the two preliminary legs of this series Desyllas Racing, James Stieren, William Beck and Hunt Harness Horses Grand Junction Co. turned the tables on his rivals prevailing by a hard fought neck in 1:56.2 over a \"sloppy\" track.

Leaving alertly from post position four for driver Jason Dillander, Grand Junction Co. neatly tucked into the pocket allowing a hard leaving Fox Valley Rennard (Mike Oosting) to seize command as the youngsters moved through an opening quarter in :29. Fox Valley Rennard, the 3-5 favorite after back-to-back scores in the first two legs, continued to show the way down the backside, leading the compact field by the halfway mark in :59.1.

Things finally started to heat up as the field trudged through the slop on the far turn with pole-sitter Onthewingsofanangel (Josh Sutton) taking a first over crack at the pacesetter. Gamely holding sway with a 1 1/2-length advantage over his uncovered challenger and the pocket-sitting Grand Junction Co., Fox Valley Rennard tripped the three-quarter-mile beam in 1:28.2.

In the lane Fox Valley Rennard continued to cling tenaciously to his advantage. The tough first-up journey began to take a toll on Onthewingsofanangel while a patient Dillander was waiting to pounce from the garden spot with Grand Junction Co. Waiting until the waning yards to make his move, Dillander deftly angled the Roger Welch trainee to the outside, and he responded beautifully as he charged by the favorite to get the victory. Fox Valley Rennard was a hard trying second while Incredibly Rich (Dale Hiteman) shook loose late to finish third.

The winning gelded son of Cole Muffler now sports a record of four wins, two seconds and three thirds in 19 starts this season with earnings of just over $29,000. Sent off as the third choice in the wagering, Grand Junction Co. returned a very nice mutuel of $10, $3.40 and $2.60. (Balmoral Park)
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