09/29/2012 11:06AM

Churchill Downs: Groupie Doll blazes a half-mile for Saturday's TCA Stakes

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Renee Torbit/Coady Photography
Groupie Doll wins the Masters at Presque Isle. She worked faster on Saturday than trainer Buff Bradley would have liked.

Groupie Doll had her final work toward the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes when breezing a swift half-mile Saturday morning in 46.20 seconds over the main track at Churchill Downs.

“She went about two seconds faster than I wanted,” said trainer Buff Bradley. “Three horses broke off right behind her and that pumped her up, but she relaxed once she got away from them. We’ll just go real easy with her the rest of the week.”

Groupie Doll will be a solid favorite in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 TCA Stakes, which will be run at six furlongs over the Polytrack. Rajiv Maragh retains the mount.

Groupie Doll is the leading candidate for the Nov. 2 BC Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita after romping in her last three starts, the latest being a 3 3/4-length triumph in the Sept. 8 Presque Isle Downs Masters. A 4-year-old filly by Bowman’s Band, she is owned in a partnership led by Bradley and his father, Fred.

* Jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr. enjoyed a banner Friday night at Turfway Park when booting home the winner in 5 of 11 races, while Amanda Tamburello also had a memorable evening by winning three races. Pedroza and Tamburello entered the final two days (Saturday and Sunday) of the 16-day meet tied for second with 14 wins. Victor Lebron was the runaway leader with 28.

* Jockey agent Steve Bass returned Wednesday to Kentucky to begin hustling mounts for Julien Leparoux, who has been the leading rider at Keeneland for the last four meets, dating to the 2010 fall meet. Leparoux has been riding primarily in New York since leaving Kentucky following the May 5 Kentucky Derby.