Trainer Buff Bradley admits to not remembering the early days of every horse foaled on his Indian Ridge Farm in Frankfort, Ky.; however, Bradley certainly remembers the birthday of Humana Distaff (Grade I) winner Groupie Doll.
"I remember the day she foaled because she was such a beautiful red filly,” Bradley said. “I don’t remember them all, but she stood out from Day One. It’s pretty cool to watch her now.”
Bradley bred Groupie Doll with his father, Fred, and they now race the 4-year-old daughter of Bowman’s Band in partnership with Carl Hurst and Brent Burns. Prior to winning the Humana Distaff in track record time of 1:20.44, Groupie Doll won the Vinery Madison (GI) on the Polytrack at Keeneland. She was ridden to both victories by Rajiv Maragh.
Groupie Doll earned herself a vacation with her back-to-back Grade I victories and Bradley sent her to the farm earlier in the week.
“We planned to give her some time off and thought we might do it after the race at Keeneland, but with the (Humana Distaff) being here, we decided to go one more with her,” Bradley said. “There isn’t much for her right now anyway and the weather is so perfect she can be out in the field all day, every day.”
Bradley said Groupie Doll is enjoying her time at the farm with her paddock mate, Brass Hat. The 11-year-old gelded son of Prized retired last year with 10 victories to his name and more than $2.1 million in earnings.
“I like to tell people, ‘Yeah, I’ve got a couple of Grade One winners running around the field.’ ”
When Groupie Doll is brought back to the racetrack, she will continue her preparations for her year-end goal of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI), which will be run at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
SHACKLEFORD TO MET MILE OFF CHURCHILL DOWNS VICTORY – Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge’s homebred Shackleford galloped 1 ½ miles beneath the Twin Spires under regular exercise rider Faustino Aguilar on the Thursday after winning the Churchill Downs (GII) over champion male sprinter Amazombie on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard.
The Churchill Downs was the first victory for Shackleford since the Preakness (GI). “He looks so good that I think we ought to run him in the Preakness again,” Lauffer joked.
With the Preakness not being an option for the 4-year-old Shackleford, the chestnut son of Forestry will be pointed to the Met Mile (GI) at Belmont Park on May 28.
“It’s going to be a war,” Lauffer said. “But that’s OK. It’s supposed to be that way and if we’re going to go up against those types of horses then I’m glad we’re doing it while the horse is doing so well.”
The Dale Romans-trainee was making his third start of the year in the Churchill Downs. Shackleford previously finished seventh in the Donn Handicap (GI) in February at Gulfstream Park and third in the Carter Handicap (GI) on April 7 at Aqueduct.
“This horse has a lot of heart and try in him,” Lauffer said. “He always runs his eyeballs out.”
Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Shackleford has a career record of 4-4-1 from 15 career starts and earnings of $2,291,381.
THREE PREAKNESS POSSIBLES VISIT STARTING GATE – It was an uneventful morning at Churchill Downs for horses on the grounds that are under consideration for the Preakness to be run May 19 at Pimlico.
The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) winner Hierro and stablemate Isn’t He Clever visited the starting gate as part of their morning activity before the 8 o’clock renovation break. Both 3-year-olds are trained by Steve Asmussen.
Also visiting the gate was Zayat Stables’ Paynter. Runner-up to Hierro in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial, Paynter went to the gate after the break and then galloped a little more than a mile under George Alvarez.
Paynter is trained by Bob Baffert, whose other Preakness possibles also were on the track Thursday morning.
Zayat Stables and Michel and Tiffany Moreno’s Bodemeister, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), jogged a mile before the break while alongside a pony with Alvarez up. Arnold Zetcher’s Liaison, sixth in the Derby, galloped 1 ½ miles under Alvarez after the break.
Bluegrass Hall’s Optimizer, 11th in the Derby, galloped 1 ½ miles under Joel Cano shortly after the track opened at 6 o’clock. Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, third in the Derby, galloped 1 ½ miles under Faustino Aguilar after the break as did stablemate Cozzetti, owned by the Albaugh Family Stables, who was partnered by Romero Cordache.
At the nearby Trackside Training Center, Dr. Kendall Hansen and Skychai Racing’s Hansen galloped 1 ¼ miles under Joel Barrientos.
BARN TALK – Doug Branham’s Henny’s Hurricane heads a list of seven fillies entered for Friday’s featured $58,000 allowance race at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track at Churchill Downs. The bay daughter of Henny Hughes raced three times at the Louisville track during the 2011 Spring Meet and recorded two victories and one runner-up finish.
“She’s as honest as they come,” said Phil Bauer, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek. “She seems to run on any surface and at any distance. I think she’s well spotted and if she runs the same race back (second by ¾ lengths in a seven-furlong allowance at Keeneland on April 15) then she’ll be pretty tough.” …
The nine-race program Thursday at Churchill Downs concludes with a Super-Hi 5 race with a carryover pool from Kentucky Derby Day of $276,914. Post time for the ninth race is 4:59 p.m. …
On Friday, May 11, Churchill Downs will launch its Friday “Twilight Racing” programs and the 2012 Paddock Concert Series with Eric Lindell, an Alligator Records recording artist who will bring a unique blend of blues, R & B, funk and rock to the paddock stage following the races at approximately 8 p.m. Admission gates open at 1:30 p.m. and post time for the first race is 2:45 p.m. Happy Hour drink specials in the paddock garden area include $3 Stella Artois Draft Beer from 4-7 p.m. …
A limited number of seats for Mother’s Day dining at Churchill Downs on May 13 remains available in the Skye Terrace on the 6th floor of the Clubhouse. Jockey Club Suites and box seats are also available for Mother’s Day. Tickets for Mother’s Day, and any day during the Spring Meet, can be purchased through the track’s online box office at www.ChurchillDowns.com/tickets or by calling (502) 636-4400.
WORKTAB – Barbara Hunter’s homebred Snow Top Mountain breezed four furlongs on the firm Matt Winn Turf Course on Thursday in :49.60 for trainer Tom Proctor. The 5-year-old gray/roan daughter of Najran is being pointed toward the $100,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII) on June 2 at Churchill Downs. …
Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn’s Bourbon Courage, fourth in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) in his most recent start, breezed four furlongs in :50.60 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs prior to the renovation break Thursday for trainer Kellyn Gorder.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2012, and its Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28-July 1. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
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