11/08/2015 4:23PM

Are You Kidding Me rallies late to win Autumn

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Michael Burns
Are You Kidding Me wins the Autumn Stakes by a half-length Sunday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Are You Kidding Me established himself as the leading candidate for the Sovereign Award as this year’s champion older male runner in Canada with a well-timed score over a quality field Sunday in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes at Woodbine.

Are You Kidding Me stalked along the inside in fourth on the backstretch of the 1 1/16-mile event as Royal Son set slow fractions while being pressed by Western Reserve. The favored Lukes Alley rallied four wide on the far turn to hit the front around the eighth pole, but Are You Kidding Me kicked in late to prevail by a half-length in a time of 1:43.41.

The shipper Royal Son faded to third at 16-1. He was followed by Western Reserve, Karibu Gardens, Eirigh, Golden Sabre, Florida Won, and My Name Is Michael. 

It was the third Grade 2 triumph at the meet for Are You Kidding Me, who was ridden by Alan Garcia for trainer Roger Attfield.

“He’s a very genuine horse,” said Attfield. “He’s had a couple of rough trips. He’d trained really well up to the race. I knew if he got a fair run that he was going to be very tough. I was a little concerned about the speed-oriented track. We had the one hole, and we knew that he had to let him run out of there.” 

Are You Kidding Me ($13.90) earned $120,000 of the $209,200 purse for owners Michael Riordan, Ronald Kirk, and John Bates.