08/16/2013 3:33PM

Ellis Park: Groupie Doll resumes training after Gardenia loss


Champion Groupie Doll, upset in last Saturday’s Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park when third in her seasonal bow, remains on track for her scheduled fall campaign, trainer Buff Bradley said Friday.

She resumed training Thursday, and Bradley said he was pleased with her training both Thursday and Friday.

“She came out of the race great and got something out of it,” said Bradley, who owns her in a partnership that includes this elderly father, Fred. “There were quite a few positives, with the only one negative being that she lost with my dad going down there” to Ellis Park.

Not having raced since finishing second in the Cigar Mile last November, fitness was a concern leading into the one-mile Gardenia, and she ran like a short horse. She launched her customary wide rally on the turn to draw on near even terms with the winner, Devious Intent, and runner-up Magic Hour, but failed to sustain her run, finishing a length behind. She received an 88 Beyer Speed Figure, well off her better figures from 2012.

“She was tired,” Bradley said. “But she came back really good. Her legs look good. Everything’s great. And the timing’s really good for the races coming up.”

Those races are the Sept. 9 Presque Isle Masters at 6 1/2 furlongs on the Tapeta and The Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes on Polytrack at Keeneland on Oct. 5.

Although the latter race carries half the purse of the $400,000 Masters, it has the significance of being a Win and You’re In prep for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Groupie Doll, a 5-year-old daughter of Bowman’s Band, won all three races last year.

Morales leads jockey standings

Entering Friday’s card at Ellis, there was a bit of a surprising leader among the Ellis Park jockey colony: Roberto Morales.

With 19 victories, he is in front of such established Kentucky riders as Brian Hernandez, Corey Lanerie, Jon Court, and Miguel Mena – whom round out the top five.

The biggest of those 19 victories came last week, when Morales rode Devious Intent to her upset victory in the Gardenia Stakes.

Last week also proved memorable for apprentice Williams Naupac, who won the first three races of his short riding career.

Davis back after spill

Dylan Davis returned to riding this week after taking off his mounts last weekend following being thrown at the wire while winning the final race Aug. 9 aboard Debits and Credits.

Surging to victory late, Debits and Credits won despite taking a bad step a stride before the wire. Davis fell attempting to pull up his mount as the horses galloped out.

The spill did little to hamper Davis’s momentum as one of this region’s top apprentice jockeys. He won in his first race back from the spill on Monday, winning the opener at Indiana Downs aboard Angie’s Prim Lady.

Layoff runners in feature

A closely matched field of six second-level allowance runners headlines the Sunday card at Ellis Park, going as the fourth of nine races.

Three fillies return following layoffs of more than two months, with the trio of Delightful Magic, Boss Barney’s Babe, and Mama’s Dia all being unraced since June of the Churchill Downs meet.

Delightful Magic and Boss Barney’s Babe are both stakes-placed and lead the field in terms of last-race Beyers, coming off an 85 and 81, respectively.

Jesus Castanon has the mount on Delightful Magic for trainer Mark Casse, while Leandro Goncalves is aboard Boss Barney’s Babe for trainer Bret Calhoun.

Brotherhood Singer, Brilliant Autumn, and My Special J’s also are entered in the fourth race, a six-furlong sprint on the main track.