Gardenia Stakes 2013 at Ellis Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, August 10 from Ellis Park Race Course in Henderson, Kentucky. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will take to the track and go one mile in search of the winner's share of the $100,000 purse.

A large field of 12 has been confirmed for the Gardenia- race 8 on Ellis Park's Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:10 PM. Here is a look at the past performances of all 12 combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.

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2013 Gardenia Stakes Race Favorites

Groupie Doll - reigning Eclipse Award winner for Female Sprinter placed in all nine of her 2012 starts including wins in the Grade 1 Madison Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint but will be making her first starts since November 24 - a second place finish in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct. That result followed five straight wins - all Grade 1 and Grade 2 races. She returns after nine months away to a race that she won in 2011 and there is no doubting that she is the horse to beat Saturday.

Dixie Strike - won the Florida Oaks last February 4 last year at Tampa Bay Downs, the Grade 3 Selene Stakes at Woodbine on May 13 and the Prince of Wales Stakes on July 15 but also has some unflattering efforts in 2012 as well including a fifth in the Woodbine Oaks and a disappointing sixth in the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine on her resume in 2012. She ended her 2012 campaign with a third in the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx in September and an ugly seventh in the minor Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine in November before a 7 1/2 month layoff. She returned to action July 6 to a respectable second in the minor Sweet Briar Too Stakes at Woodbine. She is one of the only other two graded stakes winners in the field and figures to be a threat to the great Groupie Doll from post 4.

Gardenia Stakes 2013 | Remaining Field Entries

Ice Cream Silence - had been on quite a role before a lengthy layoff with three wins and a second in four starts early in her career ending in a nice second in the Iowa Stakes way back in June and then nine months off. Her return came March 17 - a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes at Gulfstream. She followed that with a win in the Grade 3 Hillard Lyons Doubledogdare but has struggled in two starts since - a seventh in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron in May and a fourth last time out in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs June 15. She hopes to get back to her winning form and could threaten as one of three graded stakes winner in the field.

Twice the Lady - won the minor Affectionately Stakes in January for trainer Anthony Dutrow and followed that with a good second in the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct in March. Her other results this year were an OK third in the Grade 2 Ruffian Handicap in April and a disappointing sixth last time out in the minor Winter Melody Stakes at Delaware Park May 22. She has 23 career starts with six wins, seven seconds and four third place finishes and enters the Gardenia in decent form.

Awesome Flower - Michael Maker trained filly races in graded stakes company for the first time Saturday but enters having won four of six starts in 2013. Last time out was a win in her stakes debut - the minor Lady Canterbury at this distance July 13 after an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Churchill Downs June 30. She breaks from the rail and has five wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 15 career starts.

Gardenia Stakes betting at Ellis Park with

Sharp Sally - Tim Schuh trained filly enters the Gardenia on an impressive three race win streak including the minor Firecracker Stakes last time out - he only stakes win at Mountaineer July 2 and a pair of Allowance races in that track. Sharp Sally has five wins in nine career starts and breaks from the outside post.

Devious Intent - has 14 career starts with three wins, five seconds and a third place finish. She enters off a pair of OK second place finishes - in the minor Saylorville Stakes June 28 at Prairie Meadows and an Allowance Optional Claiming in May after a fourth in her graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap April 20 at Hawthorne. She had an Allowance Optional Claiming score by 3 1/4 lengths at Oaklawn Park March 10 after a third in a similar race at Fair Grounds January 18. Her best career result came in January 2012 - a win in the minor Genesis Stakes at Delta Downs. She starts from post 9 with Roberto Morales in the saddle.

Magic Hour - Ian Wilkes trained filly makes her graded stakes debut Saturday but has a minor stakes win already this year - the Wayward Lass at Tampa Bay Downs in March. She followed that with an OK second last time out in the minor Iowa Distaff June 28. She has 10 career starts with three wins, a second and a third place finish.

Ciguaraya - won the minor Crowned Stakes at this distance over favored Bryan's Jewel November 3 and failed to place in her next two starts. She is coming off a fourth in her graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Obeah at Delaware Park June 15 after a third in the minor Winter Melody Stakes May 22. She has four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 15 career starts for trainer Eddie Keneally.

Itsabeautifulthing - enters the Gardenia having raced two stakes races but none of the graded variety. Last time out was an OK third in the Iowa Distaff June 28 behind Magic Hour after a fourth in the Wild Rose Stakes in May. She has four wins and two third place finishes in 13 career starts.

Assets of War - races in graded stakes company for the first time Saturday for trainer Neil Howard having placed in just two of her last five starts - the best being a second in an Allowance last time out on this track July 6. She has just one win in nine career starts with two seconds and a third place finish.

Molly Morgan - Dale Romans pupil has just one start this year - a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream in March. Before that was 11 career starts - three wins, a second and four third place finishes.

2013 Gardenia Stakes Entries & Odds

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

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Awesome Flower V. Lebron M. Maker
2 Groupie Doll R. Maragh W. Bradley
3 Ice Cream Silence B. Hernandez, Jr. G. Arnold, II
4 Dixie Strike M. Mena M. Casse
5 Assets of War J. Johnson N. Howard
6 Magic Hour L. Goncalves I. Wilkes
7 Itsabeautifulthing J. Court D. Von Hemel
8 Ciguaraya C. Lanerie E. Kenneally
9 Devious Intent R. Morales K. Gorder
10 Twice the Lady R. Santana, Jr. S. Asmussen
11 Molly Morgan C. McMahon D. Romans
12 Sharp Sally J. Castanon T. Schuh

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