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Western Alumni Wins Buffalo's Open

Published: May 3, 2014 9:51 pm ET

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Western Alumni has been camera shy in 2014 but it didn't mean he wasn't close. After finishing in the money seven times in nine appearances this season, it was just a matter of time before he scored his first seasonal win.

That time arrived Saturday night.

Western Alumni took the lead at the start and narrowly held on from there, escaping with a head victory over a stubborn Closing Credits in Saturday’s $10,500 Open Pace at a rain-drenched Buffalo Raceway.

Starting from Post 3, Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) raced to the top over the sloppy track and posted fractions of :29.1, :59.1, and 1:28.1. Closing Credits, who sat in third, went first over at the three-quarter marker and took dead aim at the leader.

In the stretch, Western Alumni ($13.20) showed plenty of heart and earned the well-deserved trip to the winner's circle as he gamely held off Closing Credits while Unicorn Hanover rode the pylons for third. The winning time was 1:57.4.

Owned by North Creek Racing LLC and trained by Jerry Nugent, Jr., the eight-year-old gelded Western Alumni (Western Hanover-Countryview Miss) has earned $15,570 this season and $157,029 lifetime. It was his 13th career win in 91 starts.

(Buffalo Raceway)

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