Groupie Doll Streaks into TCA
by Evan Hammonds
Date Posted: 10/4/2012 5:04:31 PM
Last Updated: 10/6/2012 3:14:23 PM
Groupie Doll faces 7 in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes.
Kurtis Coady/Coady Photography
Groupie Doll, winner of her last three outings by 14 lengths, returns to Keeneland Oct. 6 for the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II). The six-furlong race over Polytrack has drawn eight older fillies and mares including grade I winner Emma's Encore.
Groupie Doll has turned into a killer in her last three outings—a string that started at Keeneland mid-April when she crushed her rivals in the seven-furlong Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. I) by three lengths. On Derby Day at Churchill Downs the 4-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band put on one of the better efforts of the day, drawing clear to a 7 1/4-length victory in the Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I). Given a freshening at the Bradley’s Indian Ridge Farm near Frankfort, Ky., she resurfaced in Pennsylvania Sept. 8 to roll to a 3 3/4-length romp in the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (gr. II) going 61/2 furlongs on Polytrack.
Bred by Fred and William “Buff” Bradley, Groupie Doll is owned by the Bradleys, Carl Hurst, and Brent Burns, and is trained by Buff. She is the 4-5 favorite on the morning line and will break from post 6 under Rajiv Maragh.
Out of the Silver Deputy mare Deputy Doll, Groupie Doll has put in a pair of strong works at her Churchill Downs base in preparation for the TCA. On Sept. 22 she went four furlongs in :48 4/5, then tore through a bullet :46 1/5 half-mile Sept. 29.
She’ll carry high weight of 124 pounds in the TCA, two more than Brenda Mercer and Peter Berglar’s Emma’s Encore, a two-time graded winner in New York over the summer. Trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, Emma’s Encore lit up the tote board at Belmont Park July 7 when winning the grade III Victory Ride Stakes at 39-1. She proved that was no fluke, coming back at Saratoga Race Course to take the six-furlong Prioress Stakes (gr. I) by a nose.
Emma’s Encore, a 3-year-old by Congrats —French Opera, by Wild Again, was a flat sixth last time out in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont. She tried Polytrack once before, finishing eighth in a maiden special weight at Keeneland during last year’s fall meeting while being trained by Alice Cohn. She is the 5-1 second choice on the morning line.
James Miller’s Honey Chile, a two-time Polytrack winner this summer at Arlington Park—both at odds-on—is the 6-1 third choice. The 4-year-old Invisible Ink filly sports a 4-3-0 career mark in 11 starts on synthetic surfaces. The filly, who has Robby Albarado named to ride, figures to be on the lead or prompting the early pace.
A horse with good turf form heading for the TCA is California shipper Mega Dream, who ran a good second to Quiet Oasis in the Royal Heroine Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) at Betfair Hollywood Park this summer in Southern California. She races this year for Jerry Durant, Barry Arnason, and Mersad Metanovic. Jon Court will be aboard the Medaglia d'Oro filly for trainer Jeff Bonde.
$200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II, race 6, approx. post 3:45 p.m. EDT), fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, six furlongs (Polytrack)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Wgt., Trainer, Odds
1, Giant Sensation (KY), J. Graham, 120, T Pletcher, 15-1
2, Honey Chile (FL), R. Albarado, 120, W Catalano, 6-1
3, Newstouse (KY), J. Leparoux, 120, T McCauley, 20-1
4, Emma’s Encore (FL), J. Alvarado, 122, H Jerkens, 5-1
5, Mega Dream (KY), J. Court, 120, J Bonde, 12-1
6, Groupie Doll (KY), R. Maragh, 124, W Bradley, 4-5
7, Strike the Moon (KY), J. Lezcano, 120, M Trombetta Jr., 8-1
8, Zermatt (KY), J. Castellano, 120, T Pletcher, 15-1
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