07/30/2003 11:00PM

Jones has filly home and on turf


After winning the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April, the sky seemed the limit for Ruby's Reception.

"But she got sick right after that," said trainer Larry Jones, "and when we brought her back at Prairie Meadows, she caught a couple of tracks that I thought were really speed-favoring."

Two disappointing defeats since the Fantasy, the time has come for Ruby's Reception to try something new. Jones has brought Ruby's Reception "home" to run in the Saturday feature at Ellis Park, the $75,000 Audubon Oaks, a race that will be the turf debut for the filly, owned by Oasis Racing Stable, a syndicate based in Henderson, Ky., where Ellis is located.

Jones said he is optimistic that Ruby's Reception, by Rubiano, will make a smooth transition to grass. Tony D'Amico will be aboard Ruby's Reception when she breaks from post 9 as one of the favorites in a full field of 3-year-old fillies in the 1 1/8-mile Audubon. Other logical challengers include Dress to Impress, Dyna Da Whyna, Keiai Sakura, and La Reason.

The Audubon Oaks is the ninth of 10 races on a Saturday card that begins at 12:40 p.m. Central. Ellis is giving away a Secretariat poster with each paid admission.

Bejarano may topple Court

Through 16 of 41 days at the meet, Rafael Bejarano is threatening to put an end to Jon Court's record for most consecutive riding titles at Ellis.

Court has won the last five riding titles (1998-2002), but has lagged well behind Bejarano in both mounts and wins since early in the meet. Through Wednesday, Bejarano had won with 24 of 129 mounts, while Court was in second place with a 16-for-73 mark.

Take Charge Lady to pass Gardenia

Trainer Ken McPeek said Thursday that Take Charge Lady will not run as scheduled in the Aug. 9 Gardenia Handicap, the annual highlight of the Ellis meet, because the millionaire filly "needs more time" between races. "There's nothing wrong with her, it's just that we want to space her races out to make sure we make the Breeders' Cup," said McPeek.

Nineteen fillies and mares are nominated to the 1 1/8-mile Gardenia, a Grade 3 that is the only graded race of the meet.

* The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association will host another college scholarship raffle Sunday at Ellis. Ten scholarships worth $1,000 each will be given away, one after each race. Since 2000, the KTA and participating Kentucky racetracks have given away approximately 80 scholarships. The promotion typically attracts hundreds of young adults to the track.