One day after arriving from a brief vacation in Ocala, champion sprinter Groupie Doll galloped at Gulfstream Park Wednesday morning in preparation for the final start of her brilliant career.
“She's full of fire,” trainer Buff Bradley said. “She's a true racehorse. I was walking her in the shedrow this morning and she was walking straight ahead. When we were taking her to the track, she was marching on with it. She's got training on her mind.”
The 6-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band was purchased by Mandy Pope for $3.1 million at the Keeneland November Sale from Bradley, his father Fred Bradley, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns. Pope announced this week that Groupie Doll will soon be bred to Tapit.
Less than a week prior to her sale, Groupie Doll captured her second straight victory in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita. Groupie Doll is expected to be honored as North America's champion female sprinter for the second straight year at the Eclipse Awards Ceremony at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18.
Before launching her broodmare career, Groupie Doll will run one more time in either the Hurricane Bertie (G3) at Gulfstream on Feb. 9 or the Santa Monica (G2) at Santa Anita.
“I think the Santa Anita race might be a little short to get her ready for,” Bradley said. “For me, I'd like to keep her here in the sunshine. But it's up to the owner. I'll train her and weigh in with what I think, but the owner will have the final say, and I'll be on board with that.”
Groupie Doll is scheduled to breeze a half mile at Gulfstream Saturday morning.
Bred by Bradley and his father, Groupie Doll has won 11 of 22 starts, four Grade 1 stakes and $2.5 million in purses.
Groupie Doll has run once since being purchased by Pope, finishing a troubled fourth against males at Aqueduct on Nov. 30 in the Cigar Mile (G1), a race in which she was nosed out by Stay Thirsty in 2012. The Kentucky-bred mare had to be checked in traffic and bumped several times with another horse before recovering to finish fourth, 3 ½ lengths behind victorious Flat Out.
“I really thought she could have won. He hadn't asked her to run yet when he jerked her up and took her to the outside. She lost her momentum, and you don't want to do that with a horse like her,” Bradley said. “It cost her. I'm not going to say she definitely would have won, but she would have been right there and made a race of it.”
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