05/19/2012 1:06PM

Evangeline Downs: Southern Style repeats in Need for Speed Stakes


OPELOUSAS, La. – Southern Style rallied strongly from off the pace Friday night to successfully defend his title in the $50,000 Need for Speed Stakes at Evangeline Downs. Royal Production proved stubborn in the late going after forcing the early pace and reported home second, just a half-length back. Even-money favorite Sweetsouthernmoon turned in a belated rally to finish third, followed by 5-2 second choice Solar Charge.

Patiently handled by Ramsey Zimmerman, Southern Style trailed early while Black Ida’s Jo Jo was zipping through early fractions of 21.68 seconds for the opening quarter and 44.28 for the half-mile. Zimmerman saved ground into the stretch before setting Southern Style down for the drive, and the two rallied strongly up the rail to prove best in a final time of 55.75 for the five furlongs over a firm turf course.

Owned and trained by Maynard Chatters, Southern Style ($24) won for the 13th time in 38 starts and for the first time since winning for the Oak Hall Stakes over the main track here last summer, which followed his victory in last year’s Need for Speed. The 7-year-old Forestry gelding has now earned more than $324,000.