New Orleans. LA (SportsNetwork.com) – Odds-on favorite Grand Contender
benefited from a surface switch to capture Friday’s $50,000 Buddy Diliberto
Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by Francisco Torres, Grand Contender went off
as the 1-2 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile stakes on Fair Grounds’ sloppy main
track after being taken off the turf. Golden Soul, last year’s Kentucky Derby
runner-up, was the 2-1 second pick in the four-horse field after five
Owned by Maggi Moss, Grand Contender had control of the pace from the start as
Torres never had to use the whip. The 6-year-old gelding cruised to a 1 1/2-
length win over Treasury Bill who was nine lengths better than All Stormy.
Golden Soul finished 13 1/2 lengths behind the winner.
The time for the Diliberto Memorial on a sealed-sloppy track was 1:44.84
Friday’s win was Grand Contender’s first since taking the Lone Star Park
Handicap on May 26. That win was the final of three straight for the 6-year-
old gelding including Delta Downs’ Borgata Stakes and Lone Star’s Texas Mile.
Grand Contender began 2014 with a pair of seconds at Fair Grounds in the
Louisiana and Mineshaft Handicaps. Most recently he was third in both the
Evangeline Mile and Delta Mile with a fourth in the Prairie Meadows Handicap
The gelding has nine wins, three seconds and six thirds in 26 lifetime starts
Grand Contender returned $3.00 and $2.10. Treasury Bill paid $4.20 for place,
there was no show wagering.