Minister's Baby Takes Gardenia at Ellis Park

Favorite Minister's Baby disposed of longshot pacesetter Red n' Gold in the final turn and held off Lakenheath by 1-3/4 lengths in Saturday's $200,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Ellis Park.

Lakenheath's entry mate, Softly, was third.

Minister's Baby, ridden by Craig Perret, covered the 1 1/8 on the main track in 1:49.73.

The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Deputy Minister is owned by Lucky Seven Stable, which earned $120,000 for the win. The Kenneth McPeek trainee has seven lifetime victories in 20 starts and earnings of about $375,000.

Sent off the 5-2 favorite, Minister's Baby paid $7, $3.80, $3.20. The entry of Lakenhearth and Softly returned $380 and $4.20 for the place and show. The exacta was $23.40.

(Chart, Equibase)