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Mare seeks 3 in a row

June 22, 2005

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Actress Mary Tyler Moore used to shrill "Oh, Mr. Grant!" on her television show, and Illinois-based owners Orville Rursch and Brad and Gary Williams are now yelling "Oh, Mrs. Grant!" The trio own Mrs. Grant Four, a 4-year-old pacing mare who is aiming for her third straight victory Thursday night at the Meadowlands.

So exactly who is Mrs. Grant Four named for?

"It's a long story, but simply, we bought the horse from Tom Grant and he put it in his wife's name," Rursch told harnessracing.com Wednesday afternoon via cell phone from the Cambridge, Ill., fair where he was watching a couple of his colts race. "And it was the fourth horse they had."

A daughter of Incredible Annie bred by Fox Valley Standardbreds in Illinois, Mrs. Grant Four raced her entire freshman campaign on the fair circuit in that state. She started her racing career with a bang, winning her first four starts. Rursch and his partners purchased the young filly after that fourth win, a 16-length romp in 2:02 at the Newton fair with Grant driving, an effort which followed wins by two, seven and six lengths, respectively.

Mrs. Grant Four went on to finish her 2-year-old season with 11 wins and five seconds in 18 starts. The following year Mrs. Grant Four remained in Illinois until September, when she was sent to East Coast-based trainer Kevin Johnson. She made five starts at Freehold and the Meadowlands, winning three times including a career-best 1:54 at the Big M in early December. She finished the season with nine wins in 21 starts.

Mrs. Grant Four has won four of 11 starts this year, including her last two, lowering her mark to 1:52.3 on June 1 at the Meadowlands and equaling that time over the same track on June 9. George Brennan, who drove in both wins will once again climb into the sulky as she tries for back-to-back-to-back wins in Thursday's 11th race.

"We'll see how she competes with those, she keeps moving up," said Rursch, noting the $59,924-winning mare's rise from non-winners of $6,500 last six to non-winners of $7,500 last six to Thursday's $19,000 contest for non-winners of four extended pari-mutuel races or $60,000 lifetime.

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