08/09/2012 2:45PM

River Downs: Ohio-breds vie for two $50K purses


CINCINNATI – Ohio-bred horses take center stage Saturday at River Downs with a pair of $50,000 stakes. The Hoover will be contested at six furlongs for 2-year-old Ohio-registered horses, and the Vivacious will be contested at 1 1/16 miles on the turf course for older fillies and mares.

Startin Something will attempt to remain unbeaten over the River Downs turf course when heading a full field of 12 in the Vivacious. Trained by Tim Hamm, Startin Something won both the Cincinnatian and Horizon last season, her only two attempts on the turf. The 4-year-old filly has won 3 of 5 this season, including her last out July 14 at Presque Isle Downs. In that mile and 70-yard allowance event, Startin Something came from just off the pace to win by a neck. With an abundance of early speed in the Vivacious, that running style should suit her well. Deshwan Parker ships in to ride.

Agressive Elegance will face her elders for the first time in her fifth lifetime start and will be trying to win her second in a row. Trained by Craig Holstein, Agressive Elegance won the $75,000 Queen City Oaks in her last out July 21 by a hard-fought three-quarters of a length. The turnback to 1 1/16 miles should be to her liking. A daughter of Macho Uno, she has a first and a second in two starts over the turf course, winning the Tomboy on May 12 and finishing second in the Green Carpet May 25. Both events were at the same 1 1/16 miles on the turf, although the Green Carpet was against statebred males. Albin Jimenez retains the mount.

Should the Vivacious come off the turf, Pay The Man should be the prohibitive favorite. The 2011 Ohio Handicap Mare of the Year, Pay The Man won the Petro Memorial at Thistledown two starts ago going 1 1/16 miles, her only win this season. The 8-year-old finished second in her last out July 10 at Mountaineer Park in an allowance event going six furlongs. Pay The Man is 0 for 5 on the turf lifetime. Luis Gonzalez will ride.

Fourteen were carded in the Vivacious, but only the top earners of 2011-2012 will be able to run if there are no scratches.

Blazing Bling will be taking on males when 10 2-year-old horses go to the post in the Hoover. Trained by Tim Hamm, she won impressively in her last out July 30. A daughter of Too Much Bling, Blazing Bling won her maiden event at Thistledown by nearly 15 lengths under a snug hold. The stretch-out from 5 1/2 to six furlongs would not appear to be a problem for her. Edgar Paucar will ride.

Urban Renewal is the only other winner in the field, taking his maiden event last out July 27. A son of City Zip trained by Bob Gorham, he won by three lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs. Alvaro Hernandez-Lopez retains the mount.