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Armbro Chivalry a surprise Gold Final champion
July 5, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

REXDALE, ON — Ten of the top two-year-old pacing colts in Ontario forced Woodbine Racetrack fans to their feet on Monday evening with an outstanding performance in their first $130,000 Gold Final.

The race featured three lead changes through the mile and a finish that saw the top three competitors separated by a mere half length. And when the dust settled it was long shot Armbro Chivalry who had earned the 1:53.3 victory by a head over heavy favourite Banner Yankee.

“This was a pretty inexpensive colt when he was bought last year and you get three or four guys to pitch in and it’s nice to see them do some good,” said driver Paul MacDonell of the colt’s narrow victory for owners Carmine Cesta of Toronto, Eric Udrzal of Mississauga, Vince Mastrangelo of Brampton and trainer Mario Macri of Oakville. “It’s really nice to see.”

MacDonell employed classic come-from-behind style to secure the win for the partners, who acquired the colt at last fall’s Forest City Yearling Sale for just $6,000. Leaving from Post 2 the veteran reinsman settled the Grinfromeartoear son in fifth spot and waited patiently as Carl Jamieson colts Caviarandsoftmusic and Lincoln Parke jostled for control with SA Cheerokee Chief. As the pacesetter’s clocked fractions of :27.4, :56 and 1:25.1 MacDonell and Armbro Chivalry maintained their position, waiting until the three-quarter pole before moving to the outside on the heels of heavy favourites Banner Yankee and Jody Jamieson.

As the colts straightened out for home Armbro Chivalry was sitting in third spot, right behind Banner Yankee, and when MacDonell asked the colt for an additional gear the young pacer responded with an impressive finishing kick that powered him to the narrow victory.

“They were going along pretty good, but my colt was just breezing along and I didn’t have to stress him too much to keep up,” noted MacDonell, “And when I tipped him off Jody’s (Jamieson) helmet around the last turn, he responded.”

Also pounding down the stretch in pursuit of Gold Series glory were Silent Swing and Chris Chistoforou, who closed from tenth at the three-quarter pole to finish a half length behind the winner in third.

Armbro Chivalry’s upset returned $39.80, $10.50 and $5.90 to the fans who were impressed by his runner-up performance behind Grand Bend Turbo in the elimination round. Banner Yankee’s second-place effort was worth $3.30 for a place wager and $2.90 on a show ticket, while Silent Spring fans earned $5.30 to show. The exactor returned $113.20, adding Silent Swing for a triactor play earned fans $1,077.30 and putting fourth-place finisher Grand Bend Turbo onto the superfecta sent you home with a cool $3,356.45.

The freshman pacing colts make their second Gold Series start on July 13 at Georgian Downs, while Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Racetrack Tuesday evening with the two-year-old trotting fillies in their first Gold Series Eliminations.