08/29/2012 12:27PM

Sellers hopes to get clearance to resume riding

Shane Sellers hopes to resume riding next week at either Turfway Park or Kentucky Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Jockey Shane Sellers is scheduled to see a physician Friday in Louisville to seek clearance for his return to race riding after recovering from a fractured shoulder blade he sustained on the final weekend of racing at the Churchill Downs spring meet.

Sellers has been exercising horses at Churchill for the last week or so and said Wednesday he will not travel to Arlington Park as originally hoped. He said he most likely will make his return at Turfway Park, which starts its 16-day meet Sept. 6, or Kentucky Downs, which starts its six-day meet Sept. 8.

“I’m kind of stuck in-between right now,” said Sellers, 45. “It’s really too late for me to try to get started back in Chicago and too early for Keeneland. I’ve been getting on a couple every day just trying to get fit and healthy and get ready for where my business takes me next.”

Meanwhile, the colt that crashed into the inner turf rail, leading to Sellers’s injury, did not survive the accident. Voodoo Daddy, a promising 3-year-old, was euthanized at the Rood and Riddle equine hospital several weeks ago after suffering from laminitis, according to Terry Raymond, the Louisville T-shirt manufacturer who bred and owned him.

“It’s a shame, because he was probably the best horse I ever had,” said Raymond.

Voodoo Daddy, trained by Steve Asmussen, was on his way to winning the June 29 race when he shied inward from a right-handed whip, crashing into the inner rail and suffering a deep gash. The laceration became infected and led to other complications that ultimately led to laminitis, said Asmussen’s assistant, Scott Blasi.

Voodoo Daddy, by City Zip, won 2 of 6 career starts.

Lanerie’s lead precarious

The final four-day stretch of the Ellis Park meet begins Friday, and the jockeys’ race might well come down to Monday, the last day of the meet.

Corey Lanerie has a 23-20 lead over his closest pursuers, Jon Court and Brian Hernandez Jr., but Lanerie will not ride Friday or Saturday when he serves the last two days of a three-day suspension stemming from a riding infraction.

Remaining features at the Ellis meet in western Kentucky include a $37,000 overnight stakes and the Stars and Stripes handicapping tournament on Saturday, followed by the $50,000 Cliff Guilliams Memorial on closing day.

Kentucky Downs alters stakes schedule

With beleaguered Turfway having abandoned all its fall stakes, most notably the Kentucky Cup series, the stakes schedule at Kentucky Downs has taken on something of a new look this year.

The turf-only track in south-central Kentucky has split up its stakes over two Saturdays, with Kentucky Cup grass races being run on both. In all, there are seven stakes – three on Sept. 8 and four on Sept. 15, with the meet showcase, the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf, coming on that second Saturday.

Kentucky Downs will run the two Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays from Sept. 8-19. Enriched by revenues from the Instant Racing machines that have been on site for about a year now, purses at this meet are expected to total about $2.4 million, with maiden races worth $60,000 for horses nominated to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

Groupie Doll points to Presque Isle Masters

Groupie Doll will have her final pre-race workout for the Presque Isle Masters on Friday or Saturday at Churchill, said trainer Buff Bradley.

Groupie Doll figures as the solid favorite in the Grade 2, $400,000 Masters, which will be renewed Sept. 8 as the signature race of the Presque Isle Downs meet in Erie, Pa. The 4-year-old filly is unraced since setting the seven-furlong track record of 1:20.44 in winning the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on the May 5 Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill. The Grade 2 Masters is run at 6 1/2 furlongs over the Tapeta synthetic.

After the Masters, Groupie Doll will run in the Oct. 6 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes on opening weekend of the Keeneland fall meet before heading to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on Nov. 2.