05/27/2005 11:00PM

Molto Vita takes control at Churchill

Four Footed Fotos
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Molto Vita captures Churchill Downs Winning Colors Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths for trainer Dallas Stewart.

Molto Vita seized the lead down the backstretch, then drove to a convincing 1 1/2-length victory Saturday in the second running of the $107,200 at Churchill Downs.

Ridden by the meet's leading rider, Rafael Bejarano, Molto Vita returned $4.60 as the favorite after finishing six furlongs in 1:09.50 over a fast track. Dallas Stewart trains Molto Vita, a 5-year-old mare whose most notable victory came in the Grade 3 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes last fall at Keeneland.

Heavenly Humor, third most of the way under Robby Albarado, was up in the final 100 yards to take second by a half-length over Born to Dance, who had pressed Molto Vita for most of the trip. Ebony Breeze, the 2-1 second choice, and Fly Away Angel completed the order of finish. Revolutionary Act was an early scratch.

Molto Vita, a Carson City mare owned by John D. Gunther, now has won 8 of 23 starts and earned just over $500,000. In her previous start, Molto Vita finished second to My Trusty Cat in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on the May 7 Kentucky Derby undercard.

Born to Dance, ridden by Pat Day, broke swiftest, but it wasn't long before Molto Vita drove up along the rail to get the lead. That pair opened daylight on the others while racing close together to early stretch, where Molto Vita began to edge clear.

The $2 exacta paid $13.80, and the $2 trifecta paid $50.20. Ontrack attendance amid ideal weather was 10,633.