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Evolutionist Emerges as Expected with Woodchopper Win

Odds-on Evolutionist, owned by the Kinsman Farm of George M. Steinbrenner III and conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, was allowed to settle behind the longshot pacesetter Marquee Event, took command from that one inside the furlong grounds and then drew clear for a 2 1/2-length tally in Saturday’s $60,000 Woodchopper Stakes at about one mile over a firm Stall-Wilson turf course at Fair Grounds.

Irish-born jockey James Graham rode the winner, who returned $3.40, $2.60 and $2.10, toured the distance in 139.39 and brought his career earnings to $120,258 with his third victory in 11 lifetime starts.

“He did everything I asked him to do with bells on,” said Graham following the victory. “He’s just a very nice horse to ride.”

Marquee Event, owned by Agave Racing and trained by Michelle Lovell, set early fractions of 24.71 and 49.82, was overlooked by the fans at better than 15-1 but gamely held the place, finishing a neck to the good of Stacy Moak’s Southern Anthem. Marquee Event paid $9.40 and $4.80, while Southern Anthem returned $2.80 to show.

Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds for the 13th day of the 2009-2010 season presented by Miller Lite.  First post for the 10-race program will be at 12:30 p.m.