Augustin Stable’s Informed Decision will seek to become only the second horse to win the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II) in consecutive years when she faces eight rivals in the 30th running of the six-furlong sprint at Keeneland Oct. 9.
The $200,000 TCA, a “Win and You’re In” race for the Nov. 5 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, is the seventh race on Keeneland’s opening Saturday card that includes five graded stakes. The race has an approximate post time of 4:11 p.m.
Informed Decision, who used the TCA last year as a springboard to victory in last year’s Filly & Mare Sprint, will try to join Excitable Lady as the only TCA repeat winner. Excitable Lady scored in the 1982 and 1983 runnings. Trained by Jonathan Sheppard, Informed Decision will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and break from post 6.
Informed Decision, a daughter of Monarchos out of the His Majesty mare Palangana, was bred in Kentucky by Drs. Charles Kidder and Nancy Cole. She has won 14 of her 20 lifetime starts, including additional Keeneland graded stakes victories in the 2009 Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. I) and the 2008 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (gr. II).
A n earner of more than $2.1 million, Informed Decision has won half of her six starts this year and will enter the TCA off a victory in the Sept. 11 Presque Isle Downs Master Stakes (gr. III), which she captured for the second year in a row.
Hooh Why, who won last year’s Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at the Lexington track, will try to succeed for the first time at the six-furlong distance in the TCA. Trained by Maria Bowersock for Derby Daze Farm, Mark Hoffman, and Earl Troustrud, she has won or placed in 18 of 23 starts for earnings of more than $740,000. She will be ridden by Robby Albarado and will break from the rail.
Dr. Zic will to return to Keeneland again after winning the April 8 Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. I) at seven furlongs. The daughter of Milwaukee Brew is trained by Joan Scott, who owns the 4-year-old filly in partnership with Derby Lane Farm, Jim Tom, and Marette Farell. Dr. Zic will attempt to make up for her last two unplaced efforts, the most recent of which was a sixth to Informed Decision in the Presque Isle Downs Masters. She will break from post 2 under jockey Kent Desormeaux.
“She’s doing great … she couldn’t be doing any better, and that’s all we can ask for,” said Scott of Dr. Zic, who breezed five furlongs in 1:02 2/5 at Keenland Oct. 1. “She loves being in her home court, and she’s been training well. I think she’ll be fitter and sharper (than she was in her last two efforts) for Saturday.”
Also a contender is Southern Equine Stables and Mike Smith’s Champagne d'Oro, winner of the June 5 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park and the Aug. 7 Test (gr. I) at Saratoga. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro , who will be making her first start at Keeneland, was also runner up in the six-furlong Prioress (gr. I) at Belmont July 4. She turned in a bullet work at Churchill Downs Oct. 2 when she covered five furlongs in 1:00 1/5.
$200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II, Race 7, 4:11 p.m.), fillies and mares 3 & Up, 6 furlongs (Polytrack)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Hooh Why, R Albarado, 122, M L Reavis
2. Dr. Zic, K J Desormeaux, 124, J Scott
3. Sweet August Moon, V Espinoza, 122, B J Koriner
4. Ivory Empress, C H Borel, 118, I R Wilkes
5. Champagne d’Oro, M Mena, 122, E J Guillot
6. Informed Decision, J R Leparoux, 122, J E Sheppard
7. Waccamaw, J L Castanon, 118, R M Gorham
8. Dubai Majesty, J Theriot, 122, W B Calhoun
9. Old Time Religion, J Graham, 118, G S Wismer