Ain’t Life Grand surges late to win the inaugural Ouachita S.

Not This Time’s multiple stakes winner Ain’t Life Grand waited until the final furlong to roll past the field in Friday’s $150,000 Ouachita S. at Oaklawn Park, coming home a geared-down two-length winner in the 1 1/16-mile contest.

The race was a strategic affair from the outset, with no more than four lengths separating the six-horse field in the first half-mile. Things got even more closely contested as they rounded the second turn, with scarcely two lengths from front to back. Ain’t Life Grand, who was sixth after three-quarters of a mile, came four-wide into the stretch and hit top gear in the final furlong, surging past Frosted Grace to win in hand.

The final time on a fast track was 1:42.76.

“Our goal this summer is the Cornhusker,” trainer Kelly Von Hemel said of the meet’s major stakes for older horses at Prairie Meadows. “We’ll get up home and map out a plan. There’s a prep race at Prairie to get to the Cornhusker.”

Ain’t Life Grand races for his breeders, RPM Thoroughbreds. He has now won 7 of 12 starts and a new bankroll of $585,624. The 4-year-old now has six career stakes wins.

Not This Time is currently the top-ranked Fourth-Crop sire and is 12th nationally among all sires with over $3.5 million in progeny earnings.

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