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Armbro Brando earns Gold Final glory
July 15, 2004
By Sandra Snyder

GLOUCESTER, ON — Elimination winner Armbro Brando received a flawless drive from Ted McDonald at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Thursday evening and the Island Fantasy son responded with a 1:53 victory to capture his first Gold Series Final.

Leaving from Post 6, McDonald settled Armbro Brando on the outside at the back of the pack and watched as the other elimination winners, L H Stryker and D Essential, pressed the pace through a :26.4 opening fraction. Heading toward the :56.1 half Tricky Grin and Armbro Balmoral popped off the rail in front of Armbro Brando, giving him the perfect cover for a steady move toward the front.

By the time the colts swept past the 1:23.4 three-quarters Armbro Balmoral and Armbro Brando were circling three-wide in front of the stalling leaders. At the top of the stretch Armbro Balomoral was one and a half lengths ahead, but Armbro Brando surged down the stretch to capture the victory by an impressive two and a half lengths. Armbro Balmoral was a game second and Stonebridge Galaxy was five lengths behind the winner in third.

David McDuffee of Nashua, NH owns Armbro Brando, a half brother to an impressive line-up of horses that includes $1.01 million winner Armbro Operative. McDuffee acquired the son of prolific producer Cunning Bunny for just $15,000 US at the 2002 Kentucky Standardbred Yearling Sale and has banked $193,433 on the gelding’s behalf through the last two seasons.

Brett Pelling trains Armbro Brando, who competed in the Provincial Cup elimination and final, the Burlington Stakes and the Clearwater Cup elimination and final during the seven week break in Gold Series action this spring.

Rideau Carleton fans sent the gelding off as their fourth choice in Thursday’s $130,000 Gold Final and he returned $9.20 on a win ticket, $4.00 on a place wager and $4.20 on a show pick. Armbro Balmoral was the sixth choice and the Camluck son returned $6.20 to place and $3.70 to show, while fifth choice Stonebridge Galaxy’s third-place effort was worth $4.20. The exactor was worth $123.10, the triactor an impressive $1,519.60 and the superfecta paid $667.30 on a combination of Armbro Brando in first , Armbro Balmoral second, Stonebridge Galaxy third and any of the other six horses in fourth spot.

The three-year-old pacing colts make their third Gold Series start at Woodbine Racetrack on Aug. 9, while Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Rideau Carleton Raceway Friday, Aug. 20 with Gold Eliminations for the two-year-old trotting colts.