Groupie Doll, the champion female sprinter of 2012, tops a compact but talented field for the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 5 at Keeneland.
Returning to a race she won last year by 6 1/2 lengths en route to a Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) victory and Eclipse Award honors, the 5-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band seeks her second win of 2013 after getting the job done Sept. 9 in the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters (gr. II) for trainer Buff Bradley.
Groupie Doll looks to join Excitable Lady ('82-83) as the only repeat winner of the TCA, which was inaugurated in 1981. The Thoroughbred Club of America, a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint to be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park, will go as Saturday's sixth race with an approximate post of 3:45 p.m. EDT.
Off to a slow start in 2013 because she required turnout time after failing to thrive at Gulfstream Park, Groupie Doll made her first start of the season with a third in the Aug. 10 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III) at Ellis Park, a race she won in 2011. She came back to win the Masters, which she took in 2012 as well, setting up for a strong fall campaign.
Regular rider Rajiv Maragh will be in the irons aboard the TCA highweight who carries 124 pounds from the outside post in a field of six for owners Fred Bradley, Buff Bradley, Carl Hurst, and Brent Burns.
Tuozzo Racing's Purely Hot
, a 5-year-old Maryland-bred daughter of Pure Prize
who finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Groupie Doll in the 6 1/2-furlong Masters for 24-year-old trainer Nick Caruso, and Wesley Ward's third-place finisher Judy the Beauty
will both take a run at Groupie Doll again, this time going six furlongs on the Polytrack.
Judy the Beauty, an Ontario-bred 4-year-old Ghostzapper
filly, is undefeated at Keeneland, with a maiden and allowance win over the track. She leaves the rail under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.
Multiple grade II winner Gypsy Robin
, who is 3-for-3 at Keeneland, also appears a solid rival. In 2012, she took the Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) and Lexus Raven Run (gr. II) over the Lexington oval. The 4-year-old Daaher
filly took the C.E.R.F. Stakes at Del Mar
last time out for trainer Mike Puype. Garrett Gomez rides from post 3.
June 28 Saylorville Stakes winner Livi Makenzie
and allowance winner Tanglewood Tale complete the field. Livi Makenzie, a 4-year-old by Macho Uno , races races for B J D Thoroughbreds and trainer Ron Moquett. Tanglewood Tale, a 4-year-old by Tale of the Cat , is trained by Michael Wilson for Avanti Stable.
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Judy the Beauty (ON), J.R. Velazquez, 120, W A Ward
2. Purely Hot (MD), H. Vega, 122, N J Caruso
3. Gypsy Robin (KY), G.K. Gomez, 120, M Puype
4. Tanglewood Tale (KY), S. Bridgmohan, 120, M Wilson
5. Livi Makenzie (KY), J.R. Leparoux, 122, R Moquett
6. Groupie Doll (KY), R. Maragh, 124, W B Bradley