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PETER STERLING A LOSER. RUNS UNPLACED AT OAKLAND TO JANETA AND STANLEY FAY. St. Elmwood Defeated Because Held Too Long by an Assistant Starter and Vox Populi Takes the Race — Fast Track and Great Attendance. Oakland. Cal., February 20. — Todays racing at Oakland was marked by reversals and upsets throughout the card. The most disagreeable feature was . the defeat sustained by Peter Sterling, the odds-ou favorite in the R"dwood Handicap at a mile. Trotters high-class four year-old had been carefully prepared at Tanforan during the recent wet weather and shortly after his arrival at Oakland worked such a convincing mile in a shade over 1:40, that horsemen generally regarded b -days race as a gift for him and backed him ar. cordiugly. The winner turned up iu Janeta. whi-ii as a favorite iu her last preceding race, was seemingly unable to raise a respectable gallop and finished last iu a field of ten. After five outsiders had scored in succession everybody with any money left tried to get out on the day by backing St. Elmwood in the last. The Spreckels horse carried about all the available cash of the plunging contingent. This favorite was the victim of an assistant starters "hold on" tactics and the early exhaustive effort to get to the lead told on him iu the closing drive and he succumbed to the 20 to 1 chance. Vox Populi. He was ridden by McClain. who had becu substituted for the regular stable jockey. R. Davis, who bad lieen badly shaken up by a fall from Marian Louise In the third race. Thomas H. Williams lightweight jockey, Gilbert, had a miraculous escape iu the same race. Ban Lord stumbling on the last turn and throwing him heavily to the ground. Gilbert was able to ride Bannock Bob afterwards, and when he appeared astride the Schreiber horse, the public greeted him with great applause.