11/09/2014 5:36PM

Lukes Alley rallies in the stretch to win Autumn Stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Lukes Alley ($4.40) turned on the jets in the stretch to nail the sharp New York shipper War Correspondent on the wire Sunday in the Grade 2, $224,800 Autumn Stakes at Woodbine.

Midnight Aria set moderate fractions in the 1 1/16-mile route, while War Correspondent and Lukes Alley raced at the back of the six-horse field. War Correspondent got the jump on Lukes Alley by mounting a bold wide rally to the lead on the far turn before Lukes Alley charged down the center of the track to prevail by a neck in 1:43.18.

Midnight Aria finished a clear third and was followed by Alpha Bettor, Eirigh, and Are You Kidding Me. 

It was the fourth winner on the card for Luis Contreras, who got a leg up from trainer Josie Carroll on the Melynk Racing Stable-owned Lukes Alley.

“We’ve liked this horse for a long time,” Carroll said. “I was a little concerned today. Our game plan was to sit close and come outside. When he got shuffled, it was a little disconcerting, but he’s just a good horse, and good horses find a way to overcome problems.”

The impressive victory established Lukes Alley among the leading contenders for this year’s Sovereign Award for Canadian champion older male.