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Favorites prevail in Autumn Stakes elims
Saturday, November 24, 2012 - by Greg Gangle, WEG Communications

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Toronto, ON --- A pair of C$25,000 Autumn Stakes eliminations for sophomore pacing colts and geldings were contested on Saturday evening (Nov. 24) at Woodbine, and heavy favorites St Lads Zoom Zoom and Autumn Gottem won their respective assignments in convincing fashion.

St Lads Zoom Zoom won his elimination in a time of 1:52.4.

St Lads Zoom Zoom captured the quickest of the two eliminations as he got under the wire in 1:52.4. The son of Apaches Fame extended his winning streak to four when he won for the eighth time in nine starts this season.

Driven by Randy Waples, the bay gelding cleared to the lead past the opening panel in :26.3 and never looked back as he ‘zoomed’ past the half in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.4, before edging away from his rivals in deep stretch to score the win. Pass The Deuce (Doug McNair) finished second with True To Mach (Keith Oliver) third.

“He got pretty aggressive behind the gate, but I was told that before the race took place,” Waples said following the win. “As soon as he made the front he was very easy to drive. He’s got a lot of speed to him and this series sets up well for him.”

Fresh off his C$63,400 Middlesex County Series victory at The Raceway at the Western Fair District, the Greg Horn-trained St Lads Zoom Zoom increased his bankroll to C$61,725 for owner/breeder St Lads Farm and partner Diane Stephenson. He paid $3.30 to win.

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Autumn Gottem and Doug McNair were 1:54.2 winners in their elimination.

In the other elimination Autumn Gottem used similar tactics as he went gate-to-wire to score the comfortable victory in 1:54.2. The sophomore son of Presidential Ball extended his winning streak to three while notching his eighth win of the season from 11 starts.

Driver Doug McNair piloted the youngster through panels of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25.4, before using a :29 final quarter to seal the victory. Curious Phoenix (James MacDonald) finished second with Mississippi Hippy (Jack Moiseyev) third.

“He’s a very fast horse,” McNair said after the win. “I expected him to race well tonight and he did just that. He’s a nice horse to drive and I’m looking forward to next week.”

Owned by Frank Bellino, Autumn Gottem increased his bankroll to C$57,852. He paid $2.90 to win.

This division of the Autumn is for Ontario-sired sophomore colt and gelding pacers, who were non-winners of C$50,000 lifetime or non-winners of C$30,000 in 2012 as of midnight, Oct. 31.

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