Groupie Doll Day Stakes Previews
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Kevin Kerstein
Kentucky Racing Communications
Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Turfway Park
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MULTIPLE GRADED STAKES WINNER INTERSTATEDAYDREAM
HEADLINES $150,000 GROUPIE DOLL STAKES
HENDERSON, Ky. (Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023) – Flurry Racing Stable’s ultra-consistent Interstatedaydream will attempt another stakes score against 10 filly and mare rivals that entered Sunday’s 42nd running of the $150,000 Groupie Doll Stake (Listed) at Ellis Park Racing & Gaming.
The Groupie Doll Stakes, run at one-mile on the main track, will go as the finale on the 10-race card with a post time of 4:25 p.m. (all times Central). First post for the spectacular stakes-laden card will be 11:45 a.m.
Along with the Groupie Doll Stakes, Sunday’s program will also feature the $250,000 Ellis Park Derby, $150,000 Ellis Park Debutante, the $150,000 Ellis Park Juvenile, the $150,000 Audubon Oaks and the $100,000 R. A. “Cowboy” Jones.
In the Groupie Doll Stakes, Interstatedaydream will attempt to notch her sixth-career victory. Trained by Brad Cox, Interstatedaydream has only one off-the-board performance from 11 starts. Her resume includes victories in the 2022 Black Eyed Susan (GII) and Indiana Oaks (GIII) along with a stakes victory this season in the Allaire DuPont. Cox is no stranger to winning the Groupie Doll, the top conditioner previously won the race with Matera (2021), Tiger Moth (2017) and Call Pat (2015).
Interstatedaydream will once again have the riding services of Florent Geroux and break from post No. 5.
Chief among Interstatedaydream’s competitors in the Groupie Doll includes CHC Inc and WinStar Farm’s multiple stakes winner Falconet; HWL Partnership’s Iowa Distaff winner Coastal Charm and Gerald James and Hall Performance’s recent Mari Hullman George Memorial winner Soul of an Angel.
Here is the complete field for the Groupie Doll Stakes in order of post positions (with jockey and trainer):
1. Nonviolence (Rey Gutierrez, Bret Calhoun)
2. Coastal Charm (Martin Garcia, Steve Hobby)
3. Falconet (Gerardo Corrales, Todd Pletcher)
4. Napa Candy (Rafael Bejarano, Vicki Oliver)
5. Interstatedaydream (Geroux, Cox)
6. She Can’t Sing (Brian Hernandez Jr., Chris Block)
7. Hidden Connection (Cristian Torres, Bret Calhoun)
8. Soul of an Angel (Ajhari Williams, Gerald James)
9. Ice Orchid (Francisco Arrieta, John Ortiz)
10. Malloy (Mickaelle Michel, Wayne Catalano)
11. Be Like Water (Declan Cannon, Vicki Oliver)
The Groupie Doll stakes was first run in 1982 at Ellis Park when the event was known as the Stroh’s Handicap. At the time, the Stroh’s Handicap was the richest race at Ellis Park that ran for a $50,000-added purse.
The race eventually changed its name in 1987 to the Gardenia Stakes and, in 2015, was re-named the Groupie Doll Stakes in honor of the great mare who won this race in 2011 under jockey Greta Kuntzweiler for co-owner, trainer and breeder William “Buff” Bradley and his late father Fred Bradley.
IMPROVING 3-YEAR-OLD TRANSECT SEEKS FIRST STAKES VICTORY IN $250,000 ELLIS PARK DERBY – OXO Equine’s three-time winner Transect headlines a field of six 3-year-olds seeking stakes glory in Sunday’s $250,000 Ellis Park Derby.
The one-mile Ellis Park Derby was carded as Race 8 with a post time of 3:22 p.m. (all times Central). First post is 11:45 a.m.
The Ellis Park Derby is one of six stakes contests Sunday at Ellis Park. The program also features the $150,000 Groupie Doll Stakes (Listed), the $150,000 Ellis Park Juvenile, the $150,000 Ellis Park Debutante, the $150,000 Audubon Oaks and the $100,000 R.A. “Cowboy” Jones Memorial.
Transect finished a close fourth last time out in the Indiana Derby (GIII), beaten only 3 ¾ lengths by Verifying. The chestnut son of Gun Runner broke his maiden at first asking this winter at Turfway Park. Following an easy one-length victory against first-level allowance competition at Turfway, the Paulo Lobo-trained Transect attempted to jump on the Road to the Kentucky Derby in the Gotham Stakes (GIII) but finished a disappointing 10th. Jockey Cristian Torres will have the mount on Transect from post No. 7.
The Ellis Park Derby field also features Kirk and Judy Robison’s Iowa Derby winner How Did He Do That. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, How Did He Do That pulled off a 48-1 upset in last month’s Iowa Derby when he dead heated with One in Vermillion. The son of Good Magic will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. from post 8.
Here’s the complete field for the Ellis Park Derby from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):
1. Tumbarumba (Rafael Bejarano, Brian Lynch)
2. Olazabal (Walter Rodriguez, Eric Foster)
3. Denington (Corey Lanerie, Kenny McPeek)
4. Loyal Company (Declan Cannon, Brendan Walsh)
5. Blue Light (Florent Geroux, Asmussen)
6. Release McCracken (Francisco Arrieta, Bret Calhoun)
7. Transect (Torres, Lobo)
8. How Did He Do That (Hernandez, Asmussen)
DOMINANT KENTUCKY JUVENILE WINNER YOUALMOSTHADME RETURNS IN ELLIS PARK DEBUTANTE – Qatar Racing, Swinbank Stables, Steve Adkisson and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ dominant 8 ¾-length Kentucky Juvenile heroine Youalmosthadme is set to make her return in Sunday’s sixth running of the $150,000 Ellis Park Debutante.
The seven-furlong Ellis Park Debutante will go as Race 5 of 10 with a post time of 1:45 p.m. (all times Central). First post Sunday is 11:45 a.m. on the card that will feature six stakes events led by the $250,000 Ellis Park Derby and $150,000 Groupie Doll Stakes (Listed). The other stakes are the $150,000 Ellis Park Juvenile, the $150,000 Audubon Oaks and the $100,000 R.A. “Cowboy” Jones.
In the Ellis Park Debutante, Youalmosthadme will be back facing 2-year-old fillies following her impressive victory against open company in the Kentucky Juvenile on May 4 at Churchill Downs. Trained by Brad Cox, Youalmosthadme was purchased privately by her connections from owners Donna Hancock, Richard Royer and Shaun Stone and trainer John Hancock when she dusted nine rivals by 8 ½ lengths in a maiden special weight contest at Keeneland. Youalmosthadme will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post No. 8.
The Ellis Park Debutante field also includes Selima Holding’s, Allen Greathouse and Mark Arnold’s Intermittent Fast, an eye-catching 6 ¾-length maiden special weight winner at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Trained by John Ennis, Intermittent Fast took three tries to break her maiden but once she did, she dominated her competition. Following her maiden victory, the second and third place finishers, April Clover and Designated, respectively, went on to break their maidens. Intermittent Fast will break from post 3 under jockey Jack Gilligan.
Here is the field for the Ellis Park Debutante from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):
1. Riperton (Gerardo Corrales, Paulo Lobo)
2. Daring Princess (Alice Beckman, James Spicer)
3. Grace Given (Francisco Arrieta, John Ortiz)
4. Edistrudis (Rafael Bejarano, Fausto Gutierrez)
5. Intermittent Fast (Gilligan, Ennis)
6. Youalmosthadme (Geroux, Cox)
7. Easy Red (Cristian Torres, Doug O’Neill)
8. Twirling Queen (Martin Garcia, Norm Casse)
9. Tx Women for Arts (Brian Hernandez Jr., Steve Asmussen)
10. Hot Beach (Florent Geroux, Brian Lynch)
The Ellis Park Debutante is a crucial race for many 2-year-old fillies as they prepare to enter their Fall campaign towards the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI). In 2018, the race produced Serengeti Empress who went on to win the 2019 Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).
CONFIDENT MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT WINNER BALTA RETURNS IN ELLIS PARK JUVENILE – OXO Equine’s Balta, an easy front-running maiden special weight winner in late July at Ellis Park will return and face a competitive group of nine 2-year-olds that entered Sunday’s $150,000 Ellis Park Juvenile.
The seven-furlong Ellis Park Juvenile will go as Race 6 with a post time of 2:18 p.m. The stellar 10-race program features six stakes contests led by the $250,000 Ellis Park Derby and $150,000 Groupie Doll (Listed). The counterpart to the Ellis Park Juvenile, the $150,000 Ellis Park Debutante, for 2-year-old fillies, will go as Race 5. The stakes action also includes the $150,000 Audubon Oaks and the $100,000 R.A. “Cowboy” Jones Memorial.
Trained by Paulo Lobo, Balta won at second asking at Ellis Park. The speedy son of Munnings was well backed at odds of 3-5 on debut but just missed behind Woodcourt. In his second start, bettors still thought highly of Balta as he won by 2 ¼ lengths as the even-money favorite. Jockey Gerardo Corrales will be back aboard from post No. 6.
Here is the complete field for the Ellis Park Juvenile from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):
1. Ham Sandwich (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek)
2. Call Me Andy (Martin Garcia, Brendan Walsh)
3. Omex (Martin Chuan, Brendan Walsh)
4. Dunphy (Cristian Torres, John Ennis)
5. Coulditbemajic (Rafael Bejarano, Terry Brennan)
6. Balta (Corrales, Lobo)
7. Beaudacious Colton (Rogelio Miranda, Jack Hancock)
8. Let’s Go Mark (Jack Gilligan, John Ennis)
9. Baytown Chatterbox (Tyler Heard, Paul McEntee)
STAKES-WINNING MERLAZZA TOPS $150,000 AUDUBON OAKS – Don Alberto Stable’s stakes-winning homebred Merlazza leads a field of seven 3-year-old fillies that entered Sunday’s $150,000 Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park Racing & Gaming.
Merlazza will be in search of her fourth victory in just seven starts in the seven-furlong Audubon Oaks. The sixth running of the contest will go as Race 7 at 2:50 p.m. (all times Central). First post on the stakes-filled program is 11:45 a.m. Along with the Audubon Oaks, the card will feature the $250,000 Ellis Park Derby, the $150,000 Groupie Doll (Listed), the $150,000 Ellis Park Juvenile, the $150,000 Ellis Park Debutante and the $100,000 R.A. “Cowboy” Jones Memorial.
Trained by Brad Cox, Merlazza began her career earlier this year at Fair Grounds where she broke her maiden and won a first-level allowance contest. Merlazza earned her lone stakes victory in late April when she won the Valley of the Vapors Stakes at Oaklawn. Since that effort, Merlazza has a troubled fifth in the Black Eyed Susan (GII) and a solid fourth-place effort behind Defining Purpose, Taxed and Lily Poo in the Indiana Oaks (GIII). Merlazza will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post No. 5.
Here is the complete field for the Audubon Oaks from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):
1. Ruthless Rua (Martin Garcia, Rusty Arnold II)
2. Padma (Corey Lanerie, Bill Mott)
3. Positano Sunset (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes)
4. Flamand (Mitchell Murrill, Elias Lopez)
5. Merlazza (Geroux, Cox)
6. Black Forest (Cristian Torres, Fausto Gutierrez)
7. Santa Fe Gold (Francisco Arrieta, Bret Calhoun)
8. Topsy (Rafael Bejarano, Steve Asmussen)
9. Magical Lute (Brian Hernandez Jr., Ian Wilkes)
JEFF HALL MEMORIAL WINNER HERE MI SONG WHEELS BACK IN R.A. ‘COWBOY’ JONES MEMORIAL – It’s only fitting that Nathan Hayden’s local homebred Here Mi Song is set to return in the race that honors Ellis Park racing legend R.A. “Cowboy” Jones.
The locally-based Here Mi Song tops a deep field of nine older horses that entered the second running of Sunda’s one-mile $100,000 R.A. “Cowboy” Jones Memorial. The race will go as the ninth of 10 events at 3:55 p.m. (all times Central). First post on the stakes-filled card is 11:45 a.m. The Sunday Ellis Park program features the $250,000 Ellis Park Derby and $150,000 Groupie Doll Stakes (Listed). The other supporting stakes are the $150,000 Audubon Oaks, the $150,000 Ellis Park Juvenile and $150,000 Ellis Park Debutante.
Trained by Billy Stinson Jr., Here Mi Song held off the late charge of O Besos in the Jeff Hall Memorial. The gutsy 5-year-old son of Cross Traffic most notably won the Commonwealth Stakes (GIII) in early April at Keeneland. The six-time winner will be ridden by Alex Achard from post No. 8.
The R.A. “Cowboy” Jones Memorial features a deep field of older horses including Barry and Joni Butzow’s Hanshin Stakes winner Zozos. Trained by Brad Cox, Zozos has won his last three races since cutting back in distance to one-mile. The now 4-year-old son of Munnings won by a widening three lengths over the “sloppy” surface in the Hanshin Stakes. Before that race, Zozos dug down deep to defeat fellow “Cowboy” Jones rival Kapuna in the Knicks Go Stake at Churchill Downs. Regular rider Florent Geroux will be in the irons from post 6.
The inaugural R.A. “Cowboy” Jones Memorial winner Injunction is set to defend his title. Owned by J and J Stables and Nicholas Vaccarezza, Injunction has been on the sidelines since his fifth-place run in last year’s Clark (GII) at Churchill Downs. When the Carlo Vaccarezza-trained Injunction won the “Cowboy” Jones Memorial, he defeated West Will Power, who was one of the county’s top older horses until his recent retirement. Injunction will be ridden by Gabe Saez from post 4.
Here is the complete field for the R.A. “Cowboy” Jones Memorial from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):
1. Wind of Change (BRZ) (Gerardo Corrales, Paulo Lobo)
2. Stage Raider (Brian Hernandez Jr., Cherie DeVaux)
3. Big Blue Line (Joe Talamo, Paul McGee)
4. Injunction (Saez, Vaccarezza)
5. Best Actor (Marcelino Pedroza, Cox)
6. Zozos (Geroux, Cox)
7. Seize the Night (Cristian Torres, Wayne Lukas)
8. Here Mi Song (Achard, Stinson)
9. Kapuna (Rey Gutierrez, Bret Calhoun)
ABOUT ELLIS PARK RACING & GAMING
Ellis Park, Racking and Gaming (“Ellis Park”) located north of the Ohio River and just south of Evansville, Indiana, has been the home of summer Thoroughbred racing in Kentucky for over 100 years. Ellis Park also features a gaming entertainment venue with approximately 300 historical racing machines.