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First time starters capture Gold Eliminations
July 8, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

GLOUCESTER, ON ó D Essential captured the fastest of three Gold Series Eliminations at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Thursday evening, going wire-to-wire around the five-eighths mile oval in 1:53.

Leaving from Post 6 Kevin Wallis fired D Essential to the front and the Apaches Fame son sailed through fractions of :26.2, :54.3 and 1:24.1 without facing a serious challenge. At the wire the gelding was one length up on Armbro Balmoral and 10 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Tricky Grin.

Trained by Scott Forbes for Perfect World Enterprises of Old Westbury, NY, D Essential was making his first start in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, but not his first visit to the winnerís circle. Through seven starts this season the pacer has logged four wins and three seconds for earnings of $93,935.

Another son of Apaches Fame making his Gold Series debut captured the first elimination. L H Stryker and driver Mark Etsell opted for a come-from-behind strategy, powering up the outside to the 1:54.3 victory over Freedom Hanover and Sauble Jackson.

Kyle Reibeling trains the colt, who now boasts a record of five wins and one second in six starts. The Clifford resident also shares ownership of L H Stryker with Ladino Fiori of North York.

The other elimination went to Armbro Brando, who clocked an identical time and used the same strategy as L H Stryker to achieve his second win of the season. The Island Fantasy colt and driver Paul MacDonell clawed their way around the outside to earn the 1:54.3 victory over Memory Book and Stonebridge Galaxy.

Brett Pelling trains Armbro Brando for David McDuffee of Nashua, NH. The gelding was a third-place finisher in the Gold Series Eliminations at Flamboro Downs on May 9.

Savvy Rideau Carleton Raceway fans selected the winners of all three eliminations, sending L H Stryker, Armbro Brando and D Essential off as the favourites.

The top three finishers from each elimination will return to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Thursday, July 15 for the second $130,000 Gold Final of their season.