Proctor Looks for Another Distaff Upset

When Tom Proctor won the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) in 1994, his One Dreamer paid $96.20. If Indy Groove wins the Distaff – Presented by Nextel Saturday at Lone Star Park, Proctor said she might pay twice that.

"I might be 200-1," Proctor joked on the Lone Star backside Wednesday morning, "but when you have one moving forward you have to take a shot."

Prior to the '94 Distaff, Proctor said they were calling the race "the best Breeders' Cup race ever" because of the presence of Heavenly Prize, Hollywood Wildcat, and Sky Beauty."

One Dreamer went wire-to-wire in the Distaff that year at Churchill Downs, holding off Heavenly Prize by a neck.

One Dreamer's start prior to the Distaff was over the turf course at Dueling Grounds (now Kentucky Downs). Indy Groove comes in off a win at Mountaineer Park.

Indy Groove, by A.P. Indy out of the Forty Niner mare Niner's Home, was picked out at the 2001 Keeneland September sale by Proctor's brother, Hap. She is owned by Leonard Lavin's Glen Hill Farm. Hap Proctor manages the farm near Ocala, Fla., while Tom Proctor trains the horses. Their late father, Willard Proctor, trained for Lavin in California for many years.

Lavin's company, Alberto-Culver, sponsors the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. I)in the name of VO5.

Proctor was born in Texas and his mother and several other relatives still live in the state. Though a Texas native, Proctor had never before been to Lone Star.

"I'm glad to see it here," he said. "I'm very impressed with the facility."

Indy Groove showed great promise at two, but then an injury put her on the sidelines for an extended period. She missed her entire 3-year-old season. The filly won her first start at Arlington Park and then finished third in both the Sorrento (gr. II) and Del Mar Debutante (gr. I).

"She always showed she had talent," Proctor said. "She cracked her cannon bone and missed 18 months but she hasn't missed a beat this year."

Indy Groove has won three of eight starts this year, with two seconds and a third as well. She captured the Autumn Love at Mountaineer Sept. 28 and shipped from Proctor's base at Churchill Downs Oct. 19.

"She's a little nervous so I wanted to give her time to adjust," he said. "I've found out over the years it's who you're shipping, not when you ship."

Could there be another upset in the Distaff from the Proctor barn.

"One Dreamer was doing good, and this filly is doing good," Proctor said. "My Dad never lied to himself about his horses, and I've tried to be that way. We've always thought Indy Groove had the ability, and she's doing well. That's why we're here."