08/12/2010 2:55PM

Ravi's Song rolls into Gardenia at Ellis Park

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Ravi’s Song is typical of a Carl Bowman trainee, with her races generously spaced and her strike rate high. The 4-year-old filly will be favored Saturday when making the eighth start of her career in the showcase race of the Ellis Park meet, the Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes, and that’s something Bowman certainly doesn’t mind.

“She’s coming into this race the right way,” he said. “I’m looking for her to run a big race. We’re ready.”

Ravi’s Song will be looking to stay perfect on the year when breaking from post 7 under Francisco Torres in the $100,000 Gardenia, which drew 10 fillies and mares for its 29th running. Run at one mile out of the clubhouse chute, the Gardenia marks the third race of 2010 for Ravi’s Song, who opened her season by rolling to victory in the opening race on the April 30 Kentucky Oaks program before capturing a small Indiana Downs stakes on July 7.

Bowman trained Lu Ravi, the dam of Ravi’s Song, during a sensational career in which she earned more than $1.8 million. Ravi’s Song is the only winning foal out of Lu Ravi, now 15.

“This filly is like her mother in the respect that she was blessed with quite a bit of talent,” Bowman said.

Set to give Ravi’s Song a stern challenge are a pair of up-and-coming 3-year-olds, Midway Holiday and Tap Tap Tapping, along with Lady’s Laughter, a versatile 4-year-old who ran third as the second choice last year in the Gardenia, which happens to be her most recent race on dirt.

“She runs her race no matter what the surface, including the dirt,” trainer Charlie Lopresti said.

Rounding out a solid Gardenia lineup are Direct Line, West Hope, Choragus, Irish Witch, Secret Kin, and Century Park.

The Gardenia once was the anchor of Big Four Stakes Day, but the troubles plaguing Kentucky racing in general and Ellis in particular are evidenced by the fact that only four stakes will be run at this entire 27-day meet. From 1992 to 2004, the purse for the Gardenia was $200,000.

First post Saturday is 12:50 p.m. Central, with the Gardenia, the ninth of 10 races, set for 4:53. General admission and parking are free at Ellis.