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2013 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes; Let The Rematch of the Ladies Begin

2013 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (GII); Let The Rematch of the Ladies Begin

This year’s 2013 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes takes place at the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, October 5, 2013. It stacks up as one of the “Win and You’re In” races in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series for the Filly & Mare Sprint going 6F on the polytrack synthetic dirt for fillies & mares 3 years-old and up with a purse of $250,000.

Groupie Doll

Groupie Doll, shown here receiving a spa treatment, will appear in the Thoroughbred Club American Stakes on Saturday, October 5th at Keeneland, which will be a final prep for her bid for a second victory in the Breeder’s Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at 7F on Saturday, November 2nd at Santa Anita. Photo: Brass Hat and Groupie Doll Facebook

The Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, which through 1985 was restricted to horses owned by members of the TCA, was run as an added-money event for the first time in 1981. The race evolved from the TCA Dinner Purse, which was run as an overnight allowance race each spring from 1941-1980, with the exception of 1945. The race was elevated to Grade II status in 2009. Last year’s winner of this race, Groupie Doll, will appear here again to stake her claim in the Keeneland race which will be a final prep for her bid for a second victory in the Breeder’s Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI) at 7F on Saturday, November 2 at Santa Anita.

The 33rd running of the 2013 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes is the 6th race of the day with a post time of 3:45 PM, ET.

While only two races appear to remain in her racing career, trainer William “Buff” Bradley believes champion Groupie Doll is poised to end her racing days going out with a bang. The 5-year-old homebred daughter of Bowman’s Band is set to start in her third race of the year as she spent the early part of it on the Bradley Farm in Kentucky after she seemed lethargic in training in Florida.

Groupie Doll returned to competition with a third-place run in the Gardenia (GIII) at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., a race she won as a 3-year-old in 2011, but returned to form earlier this month with a second consecutive victory in the Presque Isle Masters (GII) at Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle Downs. She set a record of 1:08.36 for six furlongs with a 1 ½-length victory over the track’s synthetic Tapeta surface just beating Purely Hot. Can we say rematch? Groupie Doll gets post #6 with her regular rider L.Maragh in the irons.

The rags to riches story here belongs to the Maryland mare Purely Hot, daughter of Pure Prize and trained by the 24 year-old Nick Caruso. This tiny gal at 15.3 hands was claimed back in January at Penn National for a 4,000 tag to be reclaimed for $8000 by her previous owners in February, then they got her back again for a $10,000 tag in March. She has since thrived under the new connections and can no longer be considered a cheap claimer. Purely Hot has won six of seven starts on the all-weather surface at Presque Isle Downs and last out was second in the Masters behind Groupie Doll going 6 ½ F after practically running her eyeballs out. She’s been training better at Keeneland and looks to smoke up the track Saturday with a shorter distance and take on Groupie Doll again to hit the board. Purely Hot exits from post #2 with her regular rider H. Vega to show us what she’s got.

I’m still on Judy the Beauty’s bandwagon. I’ve been hoping the Ontario bred Ghostzapper daughter would get her first (GI) win since last year and this Wesley Ward owned and trained filly has had a little bit of a struggle this year. Judy the Beauty was scheduled to run in the 2013 Ballerina Stakes on August 23 but was gate scratched as she flipped and broke a tooth. Prior to that she was coming off two second place finishes and last out was third to Groupie Doll in the Presque Isles Masters (GII) on September 9, 2013. Judy the Beauty is undefeated at Keeneland with a maiden and an allowance win over the track. Aside from the scratch, she has never been worse than 3rd in her 10 race career and I think she will hit the board running Saturday. Judy get’s post #1 with J. Velazquez up to ride.

If Groupie Doll is back to last year’s form, and she appears to be, I don’t think anyone will beat her. We’ll see how Purely Hot & Judy the Beauty hang here. Gypsy Robin also has a big chance as she’s back on her favorite track so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her hit either. It will be a matter of who can keep up with “the Doll” to come in second and third. Stranger things happen though, which is why it’s a gamble.

Best of luck to all of the connections and the girls racing this Saturday in the 2013 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, may they all run safe.

2013 Thoroughbred Club Of America Stakes Post Positions & Odds
1. Judy the Beauty 5/1 J.Velazquez/W.Ward
2. Purely Hot 5/1 H.Vega/J.Caruso
3. Gypsy Robin 3/1 G.Gomez/M.Puype
4. Tanglewood Tale 20/1 L.Bridgmohan/M.Wilson
5. Livi Makenzie 20/1 J.Leparoux/R.Moquett
6. Groupie Doll 3/5 L.Maragh/W.Bradley
UPDATED RESULTS: 1, 3, 6. 2, 4, 5