08/04/2005 11:00PM

Dream of Summer looking at Gardenia


As Gardenia Day draws near, the field for the lone graded race of the Ellis Park meet is beginning to take shape.

The Grade 3, $150,000 Gardenia Handicap, a filly and mare race set for Aug. 20, could get a California shipper, Dream of Summer, along with local contenders Tamweel and Kristy Beethoven, according to Ellis racing secretary Doug Bredar.

Dream of Summer, trained by Juan Garcia, won the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park in April and therefore would be a solid choice in the Gardenia. Based at Del Mar, she is unraced since finishing fourth in the restricted

B. Thoughtful Stakes on April 24 at Hollywood Park.

Tamweel, trained by Tom Amoss, was fourth as an odds-on favorite in her last race, a turf sprint allowance last weekend at Ellis. Kristy Beethoven, trained by Ralph Nicks, won an allowance route at Churchill Downs in her last start on July 8.

This is the first year that Ellis will card three other stakes on the same program with the 1 1/8-mile Gardenia. As such, the day will be the richest in history at the Henderson, Ky., track.

The Gardenia Day program also will include the $100,000 Ellis Park Breeders' Cup Turf, for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the grass, and twin stakes for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs: the $75,000 James C. Ellis Juvenile for colts and geldings, and the $75,000 Anna M. Fisher Debutante for fillies.

"The 2-year-old races always seem to fill well, and the addition of the new grass race should prove fairly popular," said Bredar.

Nominations for all four Gardenia Day races were scheduled to close Saturday.

Prince Arch probably done racing

Prince Arch, the 4-year-old marathon turf specialist who won the Grade 1 Gulfstream BC Handicap in March, is likely to be retired because of chronic ankle problems.

Trainer Helen Pitts said Prince Arch aggravated an ankle in a July 28 work at Churchill.

"We were trying to make the Arlington Million with him, but it's just not going to happen," she said.

Prince Arch, a 4-year-old by Arch, won 6 of 15 starts and earned $609,186. Besides the Gulfstream BC, his notable accomplishments include a narrow victory last summer over Kitten's Joy in the Jefferson Cup at Churchill. Kitten's Joy won 6 of 8 starts last year en route to being voted the North American turf champion.

Prince Arch last raced in the $2 million Dubai Sheema Classic, a 1 1/2-mile race in which he finished sixth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. He had been trained by Ken McPeek until McPeek resigned his training position July 1 and turned over most of his stable to Pitts, his longtime assistant.

Ex-Baffert assistant gets first win

John Good, who worked under Bob Baffert for 7 1/2 years, notched the first victory of his solo training career when Humorous Type won the fourth race last Saturday at Ellis.

Good, a 26-year-old native of Kildaire, Ireland, was Baffert's Churchill-based assistant the last several years. He went out on his own after the Churchill meet ended July 10 and now has 12 horses in his care at Churchill.

Humorous Type, a 4-year-old filly, won a $7,500 claiming sprint by four lengths.

Castanon takes command

As the Ellis meet approaches its halfway point, Jesus Castanon has begun to edge away in what once had been a very tight jockeys' race.

Through Thursday, Castanon had ridden 22 winners. Apprentice rider Dane Kobiskie, the 26-year-old former Marine, was second with 15 wins, followed by Calvin Borel (14), Bill Troilo (10), and five jockeys tied with nine wins each.

As the 21st of 41 programs, Wednesday will mark the midway point of the meet, which ends Sept. 5.

'Cowboy' fractures pelvis

R.A. "Cowboy" Jones, the local legend who began his riding career in 1959, suffered a fractured pelvis last weekend in a training accident.

Jones, 62, had just finished exercising a 2-year-old when the horse suddenly shied when leaving the track and fell backward, landing on the rider. Jones said he expects to be back in action in six to eight weeks, although the Ellis meet will be over by that time, and typically Jones's handful of mounts each year come at Ellis.

* Sunday is the sixth annual Scholarship Day at Ellis, sponsored by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. Ten scholarships worth $1,000 each will be raffled off between races throughout the day. Last year, more than 600 college students submitted their names for the raffle.