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July Ohio Stakes Tah Dah and Vivacious


Constitution’s 2-year-old Ohio-bred daughter Alexandria kept her record unblemished in the newly named 5 ½ furlong Jim Morgan Tah Dah.  Morgan won 300 stakes during his years as a trainer, Tah Dah was the champion 2-year-old filly in 1983 and Ohio Horse of the Year in 1984.

“Team Alexandria” Tim Hamm, Beth Olson and Pipo Siracusano.

The Tim Hamm trained Alexandria made her debut on June 23 going 4 ½ over a sloppy sealed track.  She led when the gates opened and increased her lead after every call with Gerardo Corrales asking for little.  In her wake was Gonnabegood, who was off slowly at the start and wide in her stretch run, got the second spot over Lejeune, Congrats Jensen was fourth and Tap the Town fifth – all would be part of the six-horse Tah Dah field.

For horses coming off a 9-day heat wave, the fillies were well behaved in the paddock and several got a pre-race bath to cool down. When the gates opened there were six horses in the gate and five left.  Lejeune refused to break despite the urging of jockey Rolandro Aragon and the assistant starter, she had no plans to race on July 10.

Corrales had the 1-5 favorite kicked away briskly from the gate and while Gonnabegood was off slow, she was urged to engage the leader by Erik Barbaran and the pace was quicker than their debut.  Alexandria kept her head in front for most of the way, but Gonnabegood drew on even terms in the stretch and took a brief lead.  “We were running comfortable and when that horse came coming, she dug in and finished strong,” said Gerardo Corrales who won  by a length over Gonnabegood who held first-time starter Angel’s Sassy to the third spot.

Alexandria and Gerardo Corrales hit the wire in the Jim Morgan Tah Dah. Photo: Coady Photography

Alexandria is a chestnut filly by red-hot sire Constitution out of Spring Water by Spring At Last and was bred by the partnership of Blazing Meadows Farm LLC and WinStar Farm LLC.  She is owner by the same duo and Michael Lewis.  Trainer Tim Hamm was impressed with her performance.  “Charlie Williams horse was right there and she ran an awesome race, but my filly was up to the task.”  Hamm then pulled out his phone and ran a video of Alexandria after she passed the wire, “Check this out, now this is a good gallop out!”  The chestnut was not tiring, and as track announcer Ed Meyer said at the wire in a homage to the late announcer, Kevin Goemmer, was “showing her heels to the field!”



Some horses just have a natural penchant for the lead in a race and the ability to get it.  Ohio-bred Distinctive Flower is one of those and she put it on display in the grassy 1 1/16 mile Vivacious Handicap.  Drillit, coming off a 12 length romp in the J.W. Petro Memorial at Thistledown was made the morning line favorite and assigned highweight of 124 lbs., while the fleet footed Distinctive Flower was installed as the second choice toting 116 lbs. in the Belterra Park co-feature that hot afternoon.

             When the ten registered Buckeye-breds left the gate, Distinctive Flower appeared to effortlessly stride to the lead, while Drillit didn’t take to her turf debut comfortably and ran behind over half the field rather than being poised in her usual close up stalking style.  Multiple Ohio Champion mare Leona’s Reward took up the role of pace presser, it is hard to believe that in her pursuit of the $1 mark, he 7-year-old had never won a race on turf, or at Belterra Park for that matter.

As they rounded the “Coney Island Curve” and into the backstretch alongside the Ohio River, jockey Rafael Mojica, Jr., just let Distinctive Flower stride out on her own while building a 7-length lead.  Turning into the stretch the margin diminished to 3 lengths over Leona’s Reward after travelling a brisk 1: 10.45 time for the first six panels, but she maintained her momentum to win by 1 1/3 lenghts to a fast closing Birdacious who won this race last year.  Leona’s Reward was only ½ length behind for the third spot.  The final time was 1:42.96.

Distinctive Flower and Rafael Mojica, Jr. wire the field in the Vivacious Stakes.” Photo: Coady Photography

It was a crowded winners circle for the partnership of Mark Kuntz LLC, Easy Money LLC and Michael Luebbe – always a good sign of new potential owners.  At the mare’s hip was leading Belterra Park trainer Larry Smith who said, “She came to me up from Tampa in great shape and adapted well after competing in nine straight races in Pennsylvania and Florida.  She was running against tough, mostly $32,000 Allowance optional claiming company and always hitting the board and always on the lead.  She’s a horse that had to be on the front and what she did today, she did all on her own.”  Jockey Mojica concurred, “She was just galloping along, and I saw no reason to fight her.”

The 5-year-old daughter of Flower Alley out of Real Distinctive by With Distinction was bred by Lowell Allen and John Bourke and was claimed off them in August of 2019 at Presque Isle for $27,500.  She was claimed by her new partnership group for $32,000 at Tampa Bay Downs and with her win in the Vivacious pushed her career earnings to $174,762.

Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners

Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners