05/03/2005 11:00PM

Ellens Lucky Star seeks repeat

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Defending champion Ellens Lucky Star makes her first start of the year in Friday's $40,000 Shelby County at Indiana Downs.

A field of nine Indiana-bred fillies and mares was entered for the six-furlong Shelby County. The race was one of two stakes victories in 2004 for Ellens Lucky Star, who also scored in the Richmond at Hoosier Park in October. A 6-year-old daughter of Crown Ambassador, Ellens Lucky Star has a record of 9-3-4 from 19 career starts, good for $205,105 in earnings for her owner-breeder, Royal Ten Racing.

Ellens Lucky Star enters the Shelby County following a six-month layoff, but she came into last year's event off a similar layoff and scored a 6 1/2-length win for trainer Greg Foley.

Foley has worked Ellens Lucky Star three times in the past month at Churchill Downs. Orlando Mojica picks up the mount aboard Ellens Lucky Star, the 123-pound highweight under the allowance conditions of the Shelby County.

Sheza Pretty Gal enters off back-to-back wins and is the main threat. Trained by Lori Smock, she scored a 5 1/4-length win over $25,000 optional claiming company at Tampa on Feb. 5.

Sheza Pretty Gal returned to the races here 11 weeks later, on April 21, and rallied from off the pace to score a two-length win against allowance company in a five-furlong event. Lester Knight rides at 116 pounds.

Free Bonus, a 3-year-old who won three stakes last year, faces older stakes rivals for the first time. Terry Houghton, who rode Free Bonus to a nose victory against allowance company here April 15, has a return call.