Groupie Doll romps in Thoroughbred Club of America

awincze@herald-leader.comOctober 6, 2012 

  • IF YOU GO

    Keeneland Fall Meet

    When: Oct. 5-27. Gates open at 11 a.m. Post time for the first race is 1:05 p.m.; races are run approximately every half hour. Closed Mon., Tue.

    Where: Keeneland Race Course, 4201 Versailles Rd.

    Tickets: $5 general admission, free for children 12 and younger

    Learn more: (859) 254-3412. Keeneland.com.

    STAKES RACES

    Oct. 5-7: Fall Stars Weekend. Keeneland's richest weekend of racing, featuring nine stakes races worth more than $3 million in total purses.

    ■ $175,000 Stoll Keenon and Ogden Stakes (G3). 4:49 p.m. Oct. 5.

    ■ $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1). 5:21 p.m. Oct. 5.

    ■ $150,000 Woodford Stakes. 3:13 p.m. Oct. 6.

    ■ $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2). 3:45 p.m. Oct. 6.

    ■ $350,000 First Lady (G1) stakes. 4:17 p.m. Oct. 6.

    ■ $400,000 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (G1). 4:49 p.m. Oct. 6.

    ■ $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1). 5:21 p.m. Oct. 6.

    ■ $150,000 Bourbon Stakes (G3). 4:17 p.m. Oct. 7.

    ■ $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1). 4:49 p.m. Oct. 7.

    Oct. 11: $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (G3). 4:49 p.m.

    Oct. 12: $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes. 5:21 p.m.

    Oct. 13: $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (G1). 5:21 p.m.

    Oct. 18: $100,000 Sycamore Stakes (G3). 4:49 p.m.

    Oct. 19: $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3). 5:21 p.m.

    Oct. 20: $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2). 5:27 p.m.

    Oct. 21: $125,000 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes. 4:49 p.m.

    Oct. 27: $150,000 Fayette Stakes (G2). 5:21 p.m.

    SPECIAL EVENTS

    Highlights of the fall meet

    Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26: Friday Happy Hour. 5 p.m.-midnight. Paddock. Live music by Roger BonDurant (Oct. 5), Willie Eames (Oct. 12), American Trio (Oct. 19) and Chris Campbell Duo (Oct. 26); simulcast racing from Santa Anita, Golden Gate and Hawthorne.

    Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27: Sunrise Trackside. Activities before racing starts.

    ■ Breakfast With the Works. 7-8:30 a.m. Equestrian Dining Room. $7, free for kids 3 and younger. Trackside show-and-tell with farrier Hans Albrecht.

    ■ Children's activities. 7-9 a.m. Visit the Kids Club Corner and meet Buckles, the Keeneland mascot. Free activities and crafts with the Explorium of Lexington adjacent to the Equestrian Dining Room.

    ■ Tours. 8:30-10:30 a.m. A new event gives fans a walking tour of Keeneland with guides throughout the grounds.

    ■ Paddock demonstration. 8:45 a.m. Saddling paddock. Live educational equine demonstration by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital (Oct. 6, 13), Old Friends equine retirement facility (Oct. 20) and Mustang Troop (Oct. 27).

    ■ Photos with Bucky the Bugler. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Paddock area.

    ■ Handicapping seminar. 11:30 a.m. Trackside.

    ■ Jockey Q&A. 12:05 p.m. Walking Ring.

    Oct. 10: Make-a-Wish Day. All day. Nine Make-a-Wish Foundation children present trophies.

    Oct. 10: Wine, Women and Shoes. 5-9 p.m. Keene Barn and Entertainment Center. Shopping marketplace, wine, fashion show by Saks Fifth Avenue Cincinnati. $100-$150; benefits Lexington Cancer Foundation. 1-888-388-2620. Winewomenandshoes.com/lexington2012.

    Oct. 11: Race for Education. All day. Learn about scholarships from the organization.

    Oct. 12: College Scholarship Day. All day. Free admission to college students with ID, live music, giveaway of 10 $1,000 scholarships.

    Oct. 12: Buffalo Trace Giveaway. All day. Enter to win a "VIP Experience" at the Frankfort distillery. Oct. 13: Bucky Sallee Salute. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Paddock area. Free photos and autographs with Keeneland's longtime bugler. Souvenir programs available.

    Oct. 13: Lexus Test Drive. 6:30- 9 a.m. Clubhouse parking area. Test-drive a Lexus.

    Oct. 14: Meet Plum Pretty. All day. Paddock area. Meet the 2011 Kentucky Oaks winner.

    Oct. 18: Jockey Autograph Signing. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Adjacent to Paddock. Jockeys will autograph $10 Jockey Colony prints. Proceeds benefit Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

    Oct. 19: See Blue Day. All day. Free general admission for UK students, alumni and faculty; activities for all Wildcat fans. Autograph signing with Denver Bronco and former UK star Jacob Tamme, UK cheerleaders and more, noon-3 p.m., North Terrace. UK/Keeneland tumblers available for $15; benefits UK's DanceBlue fund-raiser.

    Oct. 21: Military Family Day. All day. Free general admission for active and inactive military and their families with ID. Free food, live music and activities on North Terrace.

    Oct. 26: Fan Appreciation Day. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., North Terrace. First 3,000 patrons get a free sample of bread pudding.

    Oct. 27: Fashions on the Field. All day. Sales Pavilion. In a new event, top dressed patrons will vie to be named Keeneland's best dressed patrons after strutting their stuff in front of celebrity judges. Fashionattheraces.com.

As if sensing she was going to be the most talked about girl of the afternoon, Groupie Doll kept halting before the cameras in the paddock prior to Saturday's Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, giving photographers a chance to capture her best side.

Several minutes later, the multiple Grade-I winning dynamo gave her eight rivals the view of her they've become all too accustomed to.

The role of favorite for this year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint was officially filled before 22,292 at Keeneland when Fred and Buff Bradley's homebred filly Groupie Doll burst between horses in the lane to win the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America by 61/2 lengths.

The six-furlong test was one of five graded stakes on the Keeneland card Saturday.

The calm and cool Groupie Doll has dominated the female sprint division this year, winning four straight including the Grade I Vinery Madison and Humana Distaff. Once the chestnut filly found room under Rajiv Maragh Saturday, the only question was how big the final margin would be as she hit the wire in 1:09.21.

"I feel like right now, she's tough," said Buff Bradley, who trains Groupie Doll and co-owns her with his father Fred. "I think one thing that helps this filly is she is very classy and knows how to relax. It doesn't matter where she goes."

Tapitsfly rolls in First Lady

For Tapitsfly, this season has turned into her best year ever.

The 5-year-old daughter of Tapit gritted past Grade I winner Daisy Devine in a prolonged stretch battle to capture the Grade I, $350,000 First Lady Stakes over the Keeneland turf by half a length.

After missing her whole 3-year-old season and having just four career wins coming into this year, the Dale Romans trainee has now notched three graded stakes victories including two Grade I triumphs in 2012.

"She's always game, she's been nothing but good for us," said Romans, who added that a Breeders' Cup run would be tricky as she would have to either stretch out in the Filly and Mare Turf or take on males in the Mile.

Final time for the one mile race was 1:35.44.

Breeders' Futurity to Joha

Mike Maker, trainer of 2011 2-year-old champion Hansen, has another promising juvenile on his hands after his charge Joha wired the field to take the Grade I, $400,000 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity by one length.

Joha was cross-entered in Sunday's Grade III Bourbon Stakes but justified Maker's decision to go for the bigger prize when he cut fractions of :23.90 and :48.41 during the 11⁄16-mile test before drawing off for his third career win and a possible start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Bridgetown wins Woodford

Melnyk Racing Stables' homebred Bridgetown wore down Great Mills inside the sixteenth pole to win the Woodford by one length.

Ridden by Javier Castellano and trained by Todd Pletcher, Bridgetown covered the 5½ furlongs on a firm turf course in 1:02.55.

Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676. Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com.

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