Grand Tito parlays good trip into Mac Diarmida victory

Profile Picture: James Scully

March 6th, 2016

Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Grand Tito surged to a clear lead off the far turn and easily withstood the late bid of Kaigun in Saturday’s $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream Park, scoring by 1 ¼ lengths. Now a two-time graded stakes winner for trainer Gustavo Delgado, Grand Tito completed the 1 3/8-mile turf affair in 2:12.55.

The Gulfstream turf has been playing favorably toward forwardly-placed runners and Grand Tito established perfect positioning during the early stages, tracking as a clear second behind 53-1 longshot O’Prado Ole, who established opening splits in :23.89, :48.88, 1:14.28 and 1:38.06.

Jockey Emisael Jaramillo edged closer rounding the far turn and Grand Tito took charge entering the stretch, spurting clear by 1 ½ lengths with an eighth of a mile remaining. Kaigun offered a good rally from off the pace but couldn’t make up the necessary ground, finishing three lengths clear of 9-5 favorite Mr Maybe, who got up to edge O’Prado Ole for third on the wire.

Da Big Hoss, All Included and Twilight Eclipse came next under the wire.

Grand Tito was off as the 9-1 fifth choice among seven rivals. Winner of the 2014 Miami Mile (G3), the 6-year-old horse has captured four listed stakes, including last year’s Miesque Approval at Gulfstream. Six of his nine stakes-placings are graded.

The son of Candy Ride was exiting a February 13 allowance victory at Gulfstream in his 2016 bow and has now earned $585,387 from a 33-9-7-4 record.

Bred in Kentucky by Hargus & Sandra Sexton and Ben Walden Jr., Grand Tito sold for $225,000 as a yearling at the 2011 Keeneland September sale. He hails from the multiple Grade 2-winning mare Golden Arches, a daughter of Common Grounds, and this is the extended female family of 1982 Kentucky Derby winner Gato Del Sol and multiple Grade 1-winning sire Rock Hard Ten.

Grand Tito photo courtesy of Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography