Underrated Iowa-Bred Ain’t Life Grand Proves Mettle In Iowa Derby

RPM Thoroughbreds’ Iowa homebred Ain’t Life Grand overhauled 1-2 favorite Conagher in the stretch and shook free late for a 1 ½-length triumph in the $250,000 Iowa Derby Saturday at Prairie Meadows.

With jockey Elvin Gonzalez riding for trainer Kelly Von Hemel, Ain’t Life Grand settled seventh, then sixth, of eight runners early in the 1 1/16-mile contest as Rome laid down fractions of :22.71 and :46.14 for a half-mile, with Conagher chasing from second in his stakes debut.

Ain’t Life Grand improved his position down the backstretch and on the turn while Conagher disposed of Rome then looked to be an easy winner as he raced clear and opened a four-length lead in early stretch.

Eager to run when given the cue, Ain’t Life Grand angled four-wide into the stretch and steadily reeled in Conagher with every stride, catching him late to get the win.

At 11-1 odds, Ain’t Life Grand finished the distance in 1:42.65 on a fast track, earning his first win from three starts year and fourth overall from seven career starts. He returned $25.20.

Conagher, the favorite off an impressive allowance win June 3 at Churchill Downs, stayed on for second with Joe Rocco Jr. aboard, finishing 1 ¼ in front of third-place finisher Chileno under Stewart Elliott.

A son of Taylor Made Farm resident sire Not This Time, Ain’t Life Grand was a talented 2-year-old last year, winning his maiden debut at Prairie Meadows as well as the Richard Radke Memorial Stakes and Iowa Cradle Stakes, earning his first black type, in back-to-back outings at the Altoona, Iowa track. He came into the Iowa Derby after finishing third in the Prairie Mile Stakes June 11 and was ready to win Saturday.

The $199,400 winner’s share of the Iowa Derby purse boosted his lifetime earnings to $342,343.

Ain’t Life Grand was produced by the unraced Medgalia d’Oro mare Cat d’Oro. Second dam Cat Moves, by Tale of the Cat, won the 2009 Prioress Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.

The post Underrated Iowa-Bred Ain’t Life Grand Proves Mettle In Iowa Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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