Judy the Beauty upsets Groupie Doll


Judy the Beauty entered Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes owning a two-for-two mark over Keeneland's Polytrack. After finishing the six-furlong sprint in 1:09 ⅕ while a length clear of Gypsy Robin, the Ghostzapper filly bumped that up to a perfect three-for-three with 1-2 favorite Groupie Doll relegated to third.

Jockey John Velazquez settled Judy the Beauty near the rear of the short six-distaffer field as Gypsy Robin tried to maintain her unbeaten mark at Keeneland with a wire job on the front end. That Daaher miss posted splits of :22 ⅗ and :45 ⅘ while chased by Livi Makenzie to her outside. Groupie Doll was running in the three path just off Livi Makenzie's flank before beginning her move nearing the turn.

The champion female sprinter drew even with Livi Makenzie as Gypsy Robin continued her momentum rounding the turn. Judy the Beauty suddenly appeared to her outside and a three-horse race developed at the top of the stretch.

Groupie Doll appeared ready to swoop on by at any second but suddenly stalled while Judy the Beauty kept motoring. Owned and trained by Wesley Ward, Judy the Beauty easily overhauled Gypsy Robin to return $8.40 for the win as the 3-1 second choice.

Gypsy Robin only grudgingly gave way in the lane while holding defending champion Groupie Doll to third by three parts of a length. It was another 2 ¾ lengths back to Purely Hot in fourth, while Tanglewood Tale and a distanced Livi Makenzie completed the order under the wire.

Judy the Beauty's prior Keeneland scores came in her April 2011 career debut and an optional claimer this past spring meet. Sandwiched between those two were a win in the Shady Well and runner-up efforts in the Spinaway, Prioress and Gallant Bloom Handicap. In her past three the chestnut filly has finished second in both the Winning Colors and Princess Rooney Handicap, and was exiting a third-place run behind Groupie Doll's title defense victory in the Presque Isle Downs Masters.

Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, Judy the Beauty has more than earned back her $20,000 purchase price for Ward as a Keeneland September yearling having banked $585,781 to go along with her 12-5-6-1 career mark.

The four-year-old lass is out of the stakes-winning Holy Bull mare Holy Blitz, and her third dam is the stakes-scoring Horsafire, who would go on in the breeding shed to produce Grade 2 heroine Incinerate, Grade 3 victor Fan the Flame and Judy the Beauty's second dam, multiple stakes winner Pagofire.

Incinerate is herself the dam of both Grade 1 diva and 2005 Kentucky Oaks runner-up In the Gold as well as three-time stakes scorer High Blitz. Another of Horsafire's grandprogeny is Hemingway's Key, who ran third in the 2006 Preakness Stakes.

Farther back in this female family one can find champions Affectionately, Bridal Flower, Bimelech and Black Helen as well as blue-hen mare La Troienne.