09/03/2001 11:00PM

Columbus: Mr Zooha takes first stakes

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COLUMBUS, Neb.- With a strong front-running performance, Mr Zooha registered his first career stakes victory in the $7,817 Labor Day Handicap at the Columbus Races.

Ridden by Alex Granda, Mr Zooha shook off the challenge of Citibid on the far turn and kicked clear again turning for home to get the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.80 over the fast track.

Mr Zooha has won 6 of his 11 starts this year, good for earnings of over $28,000. Sent off the 2-1 second choice in a field of six, Mr Zooha returned $6.60 to win.

Trained by Dan Coughlin for owner-breeder James Zoucha, Mr Zooha won for the third time in as many starts at Columbus this year.

Citibid, ridden by Newil Wall, checked in second, another 1 1/4 lengths in front of 3-5 favorite Let Me Lead.