09/29/2004 12:00AM

Mountaineer track report


Indy Groove found graded stakes company in Southern California and Illinois a bit too tough, but the competition in Tuesday's $75,000 Autumn Leaves Handicap at Mountaineer Race Track was just right.

Ridden by Mark Guidry for trainer Tom Proctor, the 4-year-old Indy Groove ($4.60) earned her first stakes victory by pulling away from Canadian shipper Clouds of Gold by 3 1/4 lengths. She covered 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.02.

Clouds of Gold, coming off a win against optional claimers at Woodbine, made a bid in the stretch to get within 1 1/2 lengths of Indy Groove, but Guidry tapped Indy Groove twice with the whip and she responded by drawing clear.

In the first two starts of her form cycle, Indy Groove had finished last of eight in the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar and third, beaten nearly five lengths, in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron Handicap.