the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on November 30 back on her schedule, champion
Groupie Doll had her first trip to the track since her Breeders' Cup
victory this morning, jogging a mile and galloping a mile over Belmont
Park's training track.
Photo: Don August
two-time winner of the Filly & Mare Sprint, second in last year's
Cigar Mile at Aqueduct Racetrack, will be making her first start for new
owner Mandy Pope, who paid $3.1 million for the defending female sprint
champion on Wednesday.
very excited about who bought her," said trainer William "Buff"
Bradley, who had owned Groupie Doll with his 82-year-old father, Fred,
and minoritypartners Carl Hurst and Brent Burns.
"We had thought she would be retired immediately. If we had kept her,
we knew we'd probably be looking at the Cigar Mile. I was very excited
when Mrs. Mandy Pope called me and asked me if I were interested in
continuing on with her, at least for another race in the Cigar Mile. I
told her yes, as long as we can keep the same team together."
Joining Bradley in accompanying Groupie Doll back to New York were groom Matt Hebert and exercise rider Jada Schlenk.
Doll did very well," said Bradley of the 5-year-old chestnut mare, who
is 11-4-4 from 21 starts and has career earnings of nearly $2.5 million.
"She was very much into herself and showed a pretty good energy level,
which is what we wanted to see. Everything there was good."
Doll and her regular rider, Rajiv Maragh, will be competing for a $1
million gross purse in the Cigar Mile by virtue of a special purse
incentive provided by the New York Racing Association, Inc. for
Breeders' Cup winners. Also going for the enhanced $1 million purse will
be Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents, while Alpha, Verrazano
and Capo Bastone would be competing for a secondary incentive that
offers a gross purse of $750,000 to Grade 1 winners. Others looking at
the Cigar Mile include Gentlemen's Bet, third in the Breeders' Cup
Sprint, and stakes winner Forty Tales.