Bill Cubbedge's Molly Morgan, a lackluster fifth in the Delaware Handicap (gr. I) last time out, will try to add a second graded win to her record Aug. 9 in the $100,000 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III) at Ellis Park.
Nine fillies and mares are entered for the Henderson, Ky., track's summer showpiece, a one-mile test. The Gardenia is the eighth race on Saturday's nine-race card, with an approximate post time of 4:10 CDT.
The 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare has won once in five starts this season and placed at the grade I level this spring.
Prior to the Delaware Handicap, she kicked from last in the June 14 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II), making a bold inside move on the final turn at Churchill Downs to grab the lead and cruised to a four-length upset win over Flashy American. That victory followed a promising second to On Fire Baby after racing in fifth early in the six-horse field in the May 2 La Troienne Stakes (gr. I) at the Louisville track.
Molly Morgan was in striking distance in the Delaware Handicap but flattened out in the drive under Corey Lanerie. Jesus Castanon gets the mount in the Gardenia for trainer Dale Romans.
Molly Morgan is the 124-pound topweight in the Gardenia. Seven of her eight rivals all have a 120-pound impost, including graded stakes-placed Frivolous, Liberated, and Quiet Success; each seek a stakes breakthrough. Stakes winner Livi Makenzie tries for her first graded triumph.