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Western Graduate, Armbro Barrister capture Yonkers co-features

May 31, 2008
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Western Graduate--defending her distaff derby domain--and the veteran Armbro Barrister won Friday night\'s co-featured $30,000 Open Handicaps at Yonkers Raceway.  

Assigned penultimiate post position No. 7 for trainer/driver Eric Abbatiello, Western Graduate took an early Filly and Mare Open \'Cap  Pace seat. Osborne\'s Gypsy (Greg Grismore) and Benear (Jeff Gregory) dropped the white gloves through a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and :56.2  intermission. \"Osborne\" made a second move to teclaim the lead, leaving Western Graduate first-up in--dare we say it?--all her nakedness.

However, this was no time to be modest. She pressed Osborne\'s Gypsy through a 1:25 three-quarters, with \"Osborne\" taking a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. However, Osborne\'s Gypsy, making just her second purse start since mid-October, was about to give way.

Western Graduate, meanwhile, was surging, outgaming a fast-closing Miss Galvinator A (Jim Marohn) by a half-length in 1:54. Whambam N (Jack Baggitt Jr.), Osborne\'s Gypsy and Benear rounded out the payees, while J K Pure Pearl (Jason Bartlett), the 9-5 choice from the eight-hole, was a non-factor seventh.

For Western Gruduate, a 4-year-old daughter of Western Hanover owned by Howard Schneidler, she returned for $6.60 her sixth win 16 seasonal starts (fourth in past five). She led a $65.50 exacta, $682 triple and $2,956 superfecta (first three finishers and ALL).

Friday night\'s Open Handicap Trot found Armbro Barrister (Ray Schnittker) left to his own devices on the lead...and more than able to make his seven rivals pay.

Grabbing the big chair from post No. 4, Armbro Barrister zipped his way around the oval with intervals of :28.3, 57.3 and 1:26.2.  \"Barrister\" owned a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, giving him more than enough of a head start to hold off the odds-on No More Gold N (Greg Grismore).

That one, chasing from second-over, had to settle for second as Armbro Barrister won by an easy length-and-a-quarter in a season\'s-best 1:55.3. The effort was just one-fifth away from Victor\'s Vicky all-age track record (set last month) while setting a track standard for aged trotting horses. The old record (1:56.4) belonged to Six Day War (and Schnittker) and had held since April of \'93.

Tell Me A Story (Jim Pantaleano), Light Headed (Bartlett) and Cold Winner (Stephane Bouchard) also came away with coin.

For Armbro Barrister, a 7-year-old son of Malabar Man co-owned (with Schnittker) by Kelk\'s and Earl Scheelar, he returned $10.80 (second choice) for his fourth victory in 14 seasonal starts. He led a $13.60 exacta and $77 triple.

After Saturday night\'s (May 31) 11-race program, the Raceway takes a bit of a late-spring break. The next live card is Saturday night  (June 7), with the usual 7:40 PM first post.

The five-night-per-week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday) schedule resumes the week of Monday, June 9, with the new  Saturday first post (6:50 PM) taking effect June 14. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available  around the NYRA schedule.

\"Dark night\" evening simulcasting next week is available Thursday/Friday (June 5th and 6th), with afternoon simulcasting continuing  around the NYRA schedule. (Yonkers)

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