Lukes Alley circles field to win Autumn Stakes

Toronto, ON ( – Post time favorite Lukes Alley, ridden by
Luis Contreras, circled the field from last to capture Sunday’s $200,000
Autumn Stakes at Woodbine.

Setting the pace in the 1 1/16-mile stakes was 2013 Queen’s Plate winner
Midnight Aria ridden by Jesse Campbell. Racing second was Are You Kidding Me
with 6-5 top pick Lukes Alley, trained by Josie Carroll, racing in the back of
the six-horse field.

Entering the stretch the field began to tighten up forcing Lukes Alley to
swing wide coming off the final turn. Midnight Aria still had the lead at the
top of the stretch with 2-1 second choice War Correspondent to his outside and
Lukes Alley moving quickly down the middle of the track.

Both War Correspondent and Lukes Alley went past Midnight Aria approaching the
wire with Lukes Alley getting to the finish first by a neck over War

“I wanted to stay close and not let my horse do too much at the end, but I was
a little bit stuck in the last turn and had to wait to angle outside,” said
Contreras. “I knew my horse was going to give everything he had.

“All the horses were running (down the lane), but my horse had a little bit
more than the rest. All the credit to the horse and Josie who brought the
horse over really sharp to win this race.”

Midnight Aria held on for third followed by Alpha Bettor, Eirigh and Are You
Kidding Me.

The time for the Autumn Stakes was 1:43.18 on Woodbine’s synthetic main track.

“Our game plan was to sit close and come outside, but when he got shuffled it
was real disconcerting. He’s just a good horse, and good horses find a way to
overcome problems,” said Carroll.

Owned by Melnyk Racing Stable, Lukes Alley recorded his third win of the year
from four starts and picked up $144,000. The 4-year-old colt, bred by his
owner, has earned $298,106 this year and overall has banked $423.085 with six
wins in nine lifetime starts.

Lukes Alley won Woodbine’s Durham Cup on Oct. 4 after capturing an allowance
race on Sept. 12. He began the year on July 27 with a second-place result at
Woodbine behind Reporting Star.

Lukes Alley returned $4.40, $2.50 and $2.10. War Correspondent paid $3.00 and
$2.80, and Midnight Aria paid $3.20 to show.