Vivacious Tribute Dominates $50,000 King County Express

Vivacious Tribute with jockey Karlo Lopez


AUBURN, Wash. (July 7, 2024) – Vivacious Tribute sprinted clear early and powered home to a decisive one and three-quarter length victory in the $50,000 King County Express for 2-year-old colts & geldings Sunday at Emerald Downs.

With Karlo Lopez aboard for his first stakes victory at Emerald Downs, Vivacious Tribute covered 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.79 and paid $5.76 as the second betting choice. Blaine Wright is the winning trainer for owner Margaret Root of Newport, Ore.

Vivacious Tribute set fractions of :21.51, :43.97, and :56.91, turned aside a challenge from Da Smoke into the stretch, and was clear to the wire.

Bodi Zafa, a first-time starter ridden by Leslie Mawing, flew between horses late to snatch second at odds of 8 to 1, while Big Bowie, the 6 to 5 favorite ridden by Isaias Enriquez, finished third. Da Smoke, Impassable, and He’s Not Talking completed the order of finish.

Now 2 for 2, including a maiden win four weeks ago, Vivacious Tribute earned $30,250 to boost his bankroll to $43,930. Bred in Washington by Jack and Margaret Root, Vivacious Tribute is by Tom’s Tribute out of the Into Mischief mare Vivacious Beauty.

Winner of the Turf Paradise Spring Futurity this spring, Big Bowie is also owned and bred by the Roots.
Si That Tiger was scratched earlier in the day.

The $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs is next for 2-year-old colts & geldings on Sunday, Aug. 4.

Ken Alhadeff’s Five Star General


Elttaes Stables’ Five General will defend his title in the $150,000 Longacres Mile, trainer Grant Forster said via text Sunday.

The 8-year-old son of Distorted Humor tied his career-high with a 97 Beyer while finishing third in Saturday’s $100,000 Michael Schaefer Memorial Stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis. His overall mark is 12-6-9 in 38 starts with earnings of $819,702.

“I Just wanted to let you know that General came out of yesterday’s race in great shape, and it looks like we’re a go for The Mile,” Forster said. “He’s such an unbelievably tough horse. I’ll be working on flight arrangements for the next couple of days. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly and we’ll see you all soon.”

The 89th running of the Longacres Mile is Sunday, Aug. 11, highlighting a Championship Sunday program featuring four stakes races.

With his victory last year, Five Star General became the first horse with four consecutive top three Mile finishes, accomplishing the feat with four different trainers. With Jow Bravo riding, Five Star General was timed in 1:34.73 and paid $6 as the betting favorite, with Il Bellator finishing second and 2022 Mile champ Slew’s Tiz Whiz finishing third.

In other Mile developments, Lammas ($10.40) prevailed in Sunday’s $150,000 Pleasanton Mile and trainer Manny Badilla said the 7-year-old is under consideration for the Longacres Mile

NOTES: Sunday’s mutuel handle was $997,818 on an eight-race card. . .Blaine Wright has 56 stakes wins at Emerald Downs, third place all-time. . .Juan Gutierrez tripled Sunday while Karlo Lopez doubled. . .Alex Cruz won the nightcap on Hadlees Honor ($17) for Shelly Crowe, finishing the week with a 35-23 lead over Lopez in the jockeys’ standings. . .Justin Evans saddled the exacta in race two with Creative Bid ($5.64) collaring stablemate Meant for Me in the final yards, running a mile in 1:34.88. . .Firewalker ($29) and Our Lyla Grace ($22.52) triggered a mammoth $10,248.73 pay in the $0.50 Pick 5. . .The $0.50 Pick 6 carryover is $7,555.23. . .Live racing resumes Friday with first post 7 p.m.