08/06/2004 11:00PM

Angela's Love cruises to win


HENDERSON, Ky. - Angela's Love capped a huge day for trainer Dale Romans when she ran away to a 4 3/4-length romp Saturday in the signature event of the Ellis Park meet, the Grade 3 .

About an hour before the $200,000 Gardenia was run, Romans saddled Roses in May to win the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga. He watched via simulcast as Angela's Love sped clear down the stretch for just the second stakes win of her 11-race career. Mark Guidry rode Angela's Love.

"I'm having a very good day," Romans said afterward from Saratoga.

Angela's Love, by Not For Love, returned $11 after finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.54 over a fast track. Miss Fortunate finished second, a half-length before Bare Necessities, the defending champion, who carried 119 pounds as the race highweight.

Down the backstretch, Wildwood Royal held a short lead over longshot Salzurita, while Guidry kept Angela's Love next to the rail in third. Turning for home, as Wildwood Royal began drifting out, Guidry urged Angela's Love through a wide opening, and the filly responded with a career-best effort.

Bare Necessities, the 9-10 favorite, had no major excuses, although she was carried out by Wildwood Flower at the quarter pole. Bare Necessities, who won the 2003 Gardenia by 5 1/4 lengths for trainer Wally Dollase, now has three in-money finishes, but no wins, since being transferred into the care of Chicago-based trainer Frank Kirby.

Angela's Love carried 114 pounds and earned $120,000.

* Earlier Saturday, Chosen Chief ($7.80) blazed to a big early lead en route to a 1 1/2-length victory under Dean Butler in the $38,000 Pick Up the Phone Handicap at 5 1/2 furlongs over firm turf.