11/05/2004 12:00AM

Zee Oh Six follows same path to success


Zee Oh Six can close out an incredibly productive week for his co-owner John Smicklas and trainer Joe Lucas on Sunday in the $40,000 Autumn Classic Stakes at Remington Park.

Smicklas and Lucas have been leaders in the push for electronic gaming at the state's tracks, and on Tuesday they watched a measure backed by the racing industry and others win with 60 percent of the vote during the general election. The initiative could mean an additional $30 million a year in purses for tracks in Oklahoma.

Politics aside, the focus for Smicklas and Lucas on Sunday is Zee Oh Six, who will be defending his title in the Autumn Classic, a 6 1/2-furlong race for horses bred in Oklahoma. He won the race last year, and will be cutting back to one turn after finishing a good second last out in an off-the-turf allowance at Lone Star Park on Oct. 10.

"He's had a couple of bullet works at Remington Park since then," said Lucas, who is president of the Oklahoma Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. "As sharp as he's been working, he seems to be asking for a sprint."

Zee Oh Six drilled four furlongs in 45.87 seconds on Oct. 31, and before that worked five furlongs in 59.49 on Oct. 23. He won the Autumn Classic on the cutback from two turns last year.

James Lopez, who moved his tack to Remington in the last month, has the mount on Zee Oh Six. The horse races for Smicklas and his wife, Barbara, and is a three-quarter brother to Grade 3 winner Belle of Cozzene. The Smicklases have long been prominent breeders in Oklahoma.

The chief threat to Zee Oh Six could be Medium Rare, who for years has been considered one of the top sprinters in Oklahoma. In his last start he beat open company in an optional claimer at Remington.