05/28/2017 5:29PM

Blue Bahia gets first stakes win in Blue Sparkler

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Photo By Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Blue Bahia paid $6.20 in winning the Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth on Sunday.

Horse owner Dennis Drazin bred Blue Bahia, lost her via the claim box at Gulfstream Park in March, and then claimed her back 19 days later. She rewarded his loyalty by winning the $65,400 Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

Drazin, a lawyer who doubles as the head of Darby Development, which operates Monmouth Park on behalf of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, lost Blue Bahia for $25,000 out of a second-place finish in a first-level optional claiming race. He ponied up $30,000 to buy her back.

Trainer Jason Servis said Drazin made the decision to reclaim her.

"Dennis wanted to take her back, and she's okay, so we did," Servis said.

Blue Bahia broke on top in the Blue Sparkler, a five-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares, but settled a few lengths off the pace while saving ground as Spanish Concert and Fat Kat dueled through fast fractions of 21.90 and 45.03.

Jockey Paco Lopez took Blue Bahia off the inside in upper stretch and she knifed to the lead from between horses nearing the sixteenth pole, quickly breaking the race open. Spectacular Me rallied outside horses from mid-pack to finish second, two lengths behind the winner.

Daylight Ahead, who raced in third position early, won a three-way battle for the show, finishing a half-length behind Spectacular Me. Daylight Ahead edged Spanish Concert for third by a nose. It was another nose back to J La Tache, who was bumped between horses at the start and rallied belatedly from well back.

Blue Bahia paid $6.20 as a slight favorite over Nite Delite, who after a wide trip finished sixth, a half-length behind J La Tache. Blue Bahia was timed in 56.71.

The Blue Sparkler was the first stakes win for Blue Bahia, a New Jersey-bred by Wildcat Heir. She is now 6 for 12 in her career with earnings of $131,644.

"She's very fast," Servis said. "Paco covered her up a little today and it made her a better filly."

Like Drazin, Blue Bahia is a big fan of Monmouth Park, where she is now four for five lifetime.