Breaking quickly from the inside post, Molto Vita led every step of the way, holding off 4-5 favorite Tina Bull by a neck to win the $100,000 Ellis Park Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares Saturday.
The $200,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) highlights the 2004 stakes schedule at Ellis Park, worth a record $1.1 million. Total purses for the 11 stakes races scheduled during the 54-day meet, which opens July 7 and continues through Sept. 6, reflects an overall increase of $25,000 from the track's 2003 stakes calendar.
Ron and Ricki Rashinki's favored Vicki Vallencourt took the lead after a half-mile and pulled away in the stretch under Rafael Bejarano for a 7 1/4-length triumph in the $102,050 Ellis Park Breeders's Cup Handicap Sunday.
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