07/19/2012 2:41PM

River Downs: Motega tries to find best form in Queen City Oaks


CINCINNATI – Motega will try to return to her winning ways when facing a full field of 12 Ohio-bred 3-year-old fillies in the $75,000 Norm Barron Queen City Oaks on Saturday at River Downs. The card also features the $50,000 Tah Dah for 2-year-old Ohio-bred fillies.

The 2-year-old Ohio champion filly of last year, Motega reeled off four straight wins in 2011. After winning her maiden at Mountaineer Park at first asking, the Joe Martin trainee won both the Hoover against the boys and Tah Dah against the girls at River Downs. Motega then won the Miss Ohio at Thistledown before finishing second in the John W. Galbreath on the Oct. 15 Best of Ohio card. That race is Motega’s only attempt at two turns.

On April 7 of this season, Motega finished a dismal sixth in the Royal North at Beulah Park and then 10th in the Angenora against older Ohio-bred fillies and mares on May 28. After a pair of bullet works at Mountaineer Park, Motega finished last in an open allowance event there July 10. A return to the 3-year-old Ohio-bred ranks should be to her advantage in the 1 1/8-mile Queen City Oaks. Dean Sarvis will ride for the first time.

Private Cause defeated Motega in the Galbreath, and trainer Tim Hamm is hoping she will repeat that performance Saturday. Although winless in two attempts this season against older Ohio-bred fillies and mares, Private Cause appears primed for a top effort off a nice work last Saturday at Thistledown. Edgar Paucar will ride.

Hamm also trains Kivi Khan, who will race as an entry with Motega. Deshawn Parker will ride Kivi Kahn.

◗ Significant Bling will try to remain unbeaten in the Tah Dah. Trained by Hamm, Significant Bling won at first asking May 26 at Thistledown going four furlongs. In her next start July 7, she defeated males in the Cleveland Kindergarten going 5 1/2 furlongs, the same distance as the Tah Dah. Deshawn Parker retains the mount.

Hamm also sends out Quiet Tribute and Blazing Bling as part of a three-horse entry.

Others in the field include Skiboot, Magistrate, Ms. G Q, Small Town Flirt, and Autumn Fling.