07/29/2004 11:00PM

Darby's Price seeks stakes win

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Darby's Price, the easiest of winners in an open maiden at Thistledown on July 1, seeks to add a stakes victory to her growing resume when she faces nine Ohio-bred 2-year-old fillies in the $40,000 Kevin Goemmer Tah Dah Stakes on Sunday at River Downs.

Known as the Tah Dah Stakes in recent years, River Downs officials renamed the 5 1/2-furlong stakes in memory of Goemmer, the track's former announcer, who died suddenly in January at age 48.

Darby's Price enters the race off a devastating win in a four-furlong maiden special weight at Thistledown, where she led by eight lengths at the first call and by 10 1/2 lengths at the finish. That win came on the heels of a half-length defeat against Ohio-bred colts in her June 17 debut, a race won by Bug Hunter, upset winner of the Hoover Stakes at River Downs on July 18.

The only other winners in the field, Cloud Forty Nine and Melissa Rocks, are the main threats to Darby's Price. Cloud Forty Nine repelled a midrace challenge to win her debut in open company by 2 1/2 lengths on June 10, but the daughter of Flight Forty Nine has not run since and has posted only one interim work.

Melissa Rocks also won her maiden handily in open company earlier in the meet. Though it took her three starts to graduate, it should be noted that she lost to colts in her first two starts.