Informed Decision drew the outside post in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes.

Informed Decision drew the outside post in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes.

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Informed Decision Heads TCA at Keeneland

Monarchos filly searching for 10th triumph

Augustin Stable’s Informed Decision, who has nine career wins and holds Keeneland’s seven-furlong track record, drew the outside post position in the 29th running of the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II) for fillies and mares Oct. 10. The 4-year-old daughter of Monarchos is the 124-pound highweight for the six-furlong stakes on Polytrack and will break from post 8. Julien Leparoux has the mount again.

The Thoroughbred Club of America, which was elevated to grade II status for 2009, is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1-million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita.

Trained by Jonathan Sheppard, Informed Decision set the Keeneland track record of 1:20.86 when she won the Lexus Raven Run Stakes (gr. II) a year ago in her final race of 2008. This year, she has won four of five starts, including the seven-furlong Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. II) in April at Keeneland and most recently the 6 1/2-furlong Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 12.

Informed Decision’s main rivals are Porte Bonheur and Carlsbad, the respective second and third highweights at 122 and 120 pounds. It’s the first start for each at Keeneland.

Porte Bonheur, trained by David P. Duggan for owner Johanna Murphy-Leopoldsberger, has been out four times this year and sports a nose win in the seven-furlong First Flight Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park in June. In her last race, the daughter of Hennessy finished fifth in the Presque Isle Downs Masters. Her career earnings of $430,512 are a far cry from Informed Decision’s bankroll of nearly $1.1 million. Rajiv Maragh rides for the first time.

Dennis E. Weir’s homebred Carlsbad, a multiple graded stakes winner in Southern California who is coming off a win in the 6 1/2-furlong Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) over Del Mar’s Polytrack Sept. 4, will be making her first start outside California and her birth state of Arizona, where she was champion 2-year-old filly. Trained by Jeff Mullins, the front-running 3-year-old daughter Rocky Bar has won seven of nine races, including three Arizona stakes last year by a total of 46 1/2 lengths. Tyler Baze rides her once again.

If any horse is able to sprint with Carlsbad in the early going it figures to be Bold Union, who totes 118 pounds, including returning rider Jose Velez Jr. Trained by Kelly Breen for George and Lori Hall, the daughter of Dixie Union shot to the lead in the Sept. 12 Endine Stakes (gr. III) at six furlongs but was prevailed upon at the end to win by a length. She has won two other sprints stakes this year.

$250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II, Race 6, 4 p.m.), 6 furlongs (Polytrack)
Post, Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Awesome Ashley, David Flores, 118 
2. Life Lesson, Jose Lezcano, 118
3. Porte Bonheur, Rajiv Maragh, 122
4. Pious Ashley, Kent Desormeaux, 118
5. Bold Union, Jose Velez Jr., 118
6. Carlsbad, Tyler Baze, 120
7. Selva, Robby Albarado, 116
8. Informed Decision, Julien Leparoux, 124