After multiple early lead changes, Franceschetti took control of the field and held sway to win the $11,000 Preferred 2 Handicap Pace featured at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday night (July 13).
Inside starters Stoney Durkin and Saulsbrook Peach traded turns on the front before outsider Rise Up Now drove on three-wide to take the lead by the :27.2 first quarter. However, Franceschetti began to advance first over from mid-pack as the seven-horse field moved in front of the grandstand on the way to the half in :55.4. Franceschetti swept by Rise Up Now in the backstretch and built up a four-length advantage past the 1:24 third quarter mark, which was enough to hold off the late-closing Warrior Call for the 1:54.2 victory. Warrior Call missed by half a length while third prize went to Saulsbrook Peach, who finished one and a half lengths behind.
Sent postward at odds of 8-1, Franceschetti paid $19.30 to win. Mike Horner drove the seven-year-old Mach Three gelding, who is owned by trainer Mark Horner and R A W Equine Inc. Franceschetti equalled his season’s mark that he set in his last Grand River win amongst Preferred 3 company in mid-June. He now has five wins from 16 starts this year and 23 victories lifetime.
Grand River also hosted a trio of $7,500 Preferred 3s, which were won by War Filly (1:56.1, Ryan Holliday) for trainer John Powell and co-owner Brad Powell, the Marie Dupont-trained Im A Gift (1:55.2, Donald Dupont) for Roy Dobbins, and Evas Girl (1:56, Alfie Carroll) for conditioner Ciaran Morrison and owners Aaron Waxman, Alan Alber, and Crawford Partners LLC.