10/07/2010 2:34PM

Informed Decision targets TCA repeat

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Informed Decision trains Tuesday over the Keeneland Polytrack.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – New York had its final prep for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint last month with the Gallant Bloom, and there hasn’t been a major race in the division in California since August at Del Mar.

No wonder, then, that more than a couple of Breeders’ Cup prospects have shown up to run at Keeneland in the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes. The Grade 2 Win and you're In race got the defending divisional champion in Informed Decision, along with Champagne d’Oro, Sweet August Moon, and six others, any of whom could logically springboard to the Nov. 5 BC Filly and Mare Sprint with the right kind of effort Saturday.

Last year, Informed Decision rallied to narrowly win the six-furlong TCA before stretching out to dominate the seven-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita. Her Hall of Fame trainer, Jonathan Sheppard, sent out the 5-year-old mare for a half-mile breeze in a bullet 46.40 seconds Wednesday morning at Keeneland in hopes of replicating all those steps again.

“We’re very happy with the way she’s doing,” Sheppard said.

A handful of extremely capable challengers await, including Champagne d’Oro, a 3-year-old filly whose wins in the Acorn and Test have made her a rare multiple Grade 1 winner in 2010. Trainer Eric Guillot bypassed an interim opportunity when the filly got sick “maybe for 24 hours” after the Test and is content with having settled on the TCA as the final BC prep for his stable star.

“She got past it real quick,” Guillot said. “I like the way she’s come back around.”

Trainer Brian Koriner said Sweet August Moon, winner of back-to-back graded sprints in California, “is a little temperamental, and I wanted to get her back there and in a race before the Breeders’ Cup.”

Dubai Majesty, Dr. Zic, and Hooh Why also rate decent chances in the 30th TCA, which goes as the seventh of 11 races. Hooh Why, winner of the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland at 3, looks like a real sleeper when turning back in distance and being well-drawn along the rail with Robby Albarado named.

Woodford draws strong field

Even though it’s the only one of the nine FallStars stakes this weekend without a Win and You’re In designation, the $100,000 Woodford Stakes (race 6) is an obvious lead-in to the BC Turf Sprint.

“I got a text message after the race was drawn,” said Koriner, the trainer of the defending BC Turf Sprint winner California Flag, “and it said, ‘They might as well make this the Breeders’ Cup.’ It does look like most of the best turf sprinters around are using this race.”

Indeed, besides California Flag, the 5 1/2-furlong Woodford drew the likes of Chamberlain Bridge, Silver Timber, Awakino Cat, and Atta Boy Roy, all of whom step in with terrific credentials. Chamberlain Bridge, trained by Bret Calhoun, has become an obvious division leader by winning his last three starts, most recently the rich Turf Monster at Parx Racing.

Koriner said he “doesn’t care that much” if California Flag, with Joe Talamo to ride, does not prevail Saturday.

“Nobody really wants to beat their horse up when you’ve got the $1 million race coming up,” he said.

Thirteen are entered, although only as many as 12 can start.