Champion Groupie Doll tuned up for a scheduled start in the $150,000
Hurricane Bertie (G3) on Feb. 9 with a sharp five-furlong breeze at
Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Photo: Don August
Preparing for the final start of her career in the 6 ½ -furlong
sprint for fillies and mares at Gulfstream, Groupie Doll was clocked in
59 4/5 seconds with a last quarter of a mile in just a shade over 23
seconds. The reigning Eclipse Award female champion sprinter, who is a
finalist for the same honor at Saturday night’s Eclipse Awards ceremony
at Gulfstream’s Sport of Kings, galloped out six furlongs in 1:12 1/5
under exercise rider Jada Schlenk.
“She had three horses in front of her, and she caught them and Jada
never moved on her,” trainer Buff Bradley said. “I told Jada, ‘Start her
out easy and finish.’ I kinda wanted her to put in a strong work either
this week or next week. I wanted to see how she did this week and then I
could adjust it for next week. I was glad to see her breeze as strong
as she did.”
Bradley confirmed that the Hurricane Bertie on Donn Handicap Day will
be the final race in a career that includes back-to-back victories in
the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
“She’s going to run here. It makes sense. She’s training here and she loves it,” Bradley said.
Bred by Bradley and his father, Groupie Doll has won 11 of 22 starts,
four Grade 1 stakes and $2.5 million in purses. Following her second
Breeders’ Cup victory, 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
has booked Groupie Doll to be bred to Tapit following the Hurricane
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). The Hurricane Bertie will afford the champion mare to go out with a
“We’re really excited about where she is at this
point,” Bradley said.