08/14/2007 11:00PM

Brownie Points tops Gardenia


Brownie Points and Eyes on Eddy are among an excellent field that Ellis Park has assembled for the traditional highlight of its summer meet, the $150,000 Gardenia Handicap, a Grade 3 race for fillies and mares to be run Saturday at the Henderson, Ky., track.

Brownie Points, winner of the Iowa Distaff two starts back, is the 118-pound highweight in a full field of 12. Bred and owned by Pin Oak Stable, Brownie Points will be ridden by Luis Quinonez from post 8 in the one-mile Gardenia.

Brownie Points has earned $534,809 in her career, which is just $700 more than the $534,109 that Eyes on Eddy has accumulated. Eyes on Eddy has won 3 of 7 starts since Steve Asmussen assumed her training last fall, and her best races would make her a definite threat in the Gardenia. Eyes on Eddy, with Corey Lanerie to ride, will start from post 3 and will carry 115 pounds.

From the rail, and with weight and jockey assignments, this is the entire lineup for the 26th Gardenia:

Mia's Reflection, 113, Tommy Pompell; Pleasant Hill, 111, Larry Melancon; Eyes on Eddy, 115, Lanerie; Molly's Pride, 111, Danush Sukie; My Chickadee, 112, Victor Lebron; Fiery Pursuit, 117, Brian Hernandez Jr.; Maggie Slew, 114, Miguel Mena; Brownie Points, 118, Quinonez; Leah's Secret, 117, Jamie Theriot; Stop a Train, 115, Willie Martinez; Superb Ravi, 113, Orlando Mojica; and High Heels, 114, Joe Johnson.

Probably the most intriguing entry is High Heels, the third-place finisher behind Rags to Riches and Octave in the Kentucky Oaks in May. Based at Churchill Downs with Gary Hartlage, High Heels will be facing older rivals for the first time in the Gardenia after disappointing efforts in the Regret Stakes and Delaware Oaks.

The Gardenia, the only graded race of the meet, is the linchpin in what Ellis calls its Big Four Stakes Day, a 12-race card that includes three other stakes, all worth $50,000. The Gardenia is carded as the 11th race. The other races are the James C. Ellis Juvenile (race 8), which drew a field of seven 2-year-olds, headed by the Mike Maker-trained Yonegwa; the Anna M. Fisher Debutante (race 9), which has Cinderella Stakes winner Wonderful Luck as a primary contender among a field of nine 2-year-old fillies; and the Regaey Island Stakes (race 10), a wide-open turf race that drew a full field of 12 3-year-olds.

This is the second day of significance that Ellis will host at a 46-day meet that runs through Sept. 3. The Claiming Crown was run at Ellis for the first time in its nine-year history on Aug. 4.