10/18/2004 12:00AM

Molto Vita victorious in Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Rafael Bejarano captured his fifth stakes of the eight-day-old Keeneland fall meet Sunday when Molto Vita, racing on just six days of rest, sped to victory in the Grade 3, $125,000 .

Molto Vita broke the sharpest among the six fillies and mares in the six-furlong TCA Stakes, forcing all the pace from a comfortable outside position before drawing off to a lead big enough to withstand a late run from favored My Trusty Gal, who finished three-quarters of a length behind the winner.

Molto Vita, owned by John Gunther and trained by Dallas Stewart, returned $7.20 as second choice after finishing in 1:09.92 over a fast track. A 4-year-old Carson City filly, Molto Vita had just finished second in the Prioress at Belmont the previous Sunday.

About running back so quickly, Stewart said: "Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. She bounced out of that last race so good that Mr. Gunther and I felt like if everything was OK (Sunday) morning, we?d go ahead and run. And look what she did."

Bejarano already had won the Phoenix, Alcibiades, Breeders' Futurity, and Perryville at this meet.