Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes comes our way from Ellis Park this Saturday, August 11. Fillies and mare three years old and upward will go one mile on Ellis Park's main track in search of their share of the $100,000 purse.

The Gardenia has attracted a strong field of 11 females to go in race 8 on Ellis Park's Saturday card. Post time is 4:10 PM. Let's take a look at the recent performances of the 11 entries ahead of this Grade 3 stakes.

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2012 Gardenia Stakes Race Favorites

Joyful Victory - four year old filly with multiple graded stakes win - the Tiffany Lass Stakes at Fair Grounds on February 11th and very impressive wins in the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes and the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes last year. Last time out was a third in the Grade 3 Azeri in March. Joyful Victory has been on the radar a while - she was favored in last year's Kentucky Oaks and finished fourth and followed that up with a respectable second in the Grade 1 Mother Goose.

Sassy Image - is a two-time Grade 1 winner that hasn't tasted victory in three starts dating back to last July when she capped off a three race win streak with a win in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder. After a nine month layoff, Sassy Image returned with a sixth in the Grade 1 Humana and was second last time out in the Roxelana Stakes at Churchill Downs. Sassy Image has shown form in the past.

Gardenia Stakes 2012 | Remaining Field Entries

Salty Strike - Beat out Sassy Image last time out to win the Roxelana Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths to follow a win in the Prairie Rose Stakes in May. The other two starts of 2012 were disappointments - a seventh in the Grade 1 Humana and a fourth in the Carousel Stakes. Salty Strike will be looking for her first graded stakes score since the Grade 3 Dogwood in June of last year.

Juanita - was the upset winner of the Grade 2 La Troiena Stakes on May 5 but followed it up with a disappointing fifth last time out in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps - the only time she hasn't place in her last five starts.

Absinthe Minded - has done very well when racing at Oaklawn including two straight Bayakoa Stakes wins. Outside of Oaklawn she has been disappointing especially this year - a forth in the La Troienne, an eighth in the Grade 3 Distaff Stakes at Pimlico and a fifth last time out in the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher have Absinthe Minded off the radar a bit.

Gardenia Stakes betting at Ellis Park with

Formal Plan - has won two of her last four starts for trainer Jennifer Tooley - both Allowance scores at Churchill Downs. Her other two results in 20125 include a fifth last time out in the Jenny Wade Stakes at Penn National and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs on June 22. Formal Plan has three wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 12 career starts.

She's Picky - will be making her stakes debut in the Gardenia after seven straight Allowance starts yielded two wins, a second and a third place finish.

Holiday Soiree - finished a respectable fourth in her graded stakes debut in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont to end her 2011 campaign. Since then she has two wins and a second place finish in Allowance Optional Claiming races.

Ridgester - finished a decent second last time out in the Ellis Park Turf Stakes here after starting in five straight Allowance races with one win, one second and one third place finish. Ridgester has just three wins in 17 career starts.

Find the Humor - had her best result last June - a third in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows. Since then she has raced in Six Allowance races - the last being a win here on July 15th.

Toxis - has been up and down in her eight race career - the highlights being a third in her fifth start at the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks in March and a win last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs on June 23.

2012 Gardenia Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 8 on Ellis Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:10 PM.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Salty Strike V. Lebron K. McPeek
2 Juanita M. Franklin M. Maker
3 Joyful Victory G. Saez J. Jones
4 Formal Plan G. Kuntzweiler J. Tooley
5 Absinthe Minded C. Borel D. Lukas
6 She's Picky J. Castanon D. Romans
7 Holiday Soiree J. Court D. Smithwick, Jr.
8 Ridgester B. Hernandez, Jr. R. Hiles
9 Find the Humor M. Straight P. Vallance
10 Toxis R. Vazquez S. Margolis
11 Sassy Image R. Albarado D. Romans

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