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Groupie Doll Sharp in Hurricane Bertie Breeze

Groupie Doll wins her second Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Photo: Don August
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.           

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 Bertie.           

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 win.           

“We’re really excited about where she is at this point,” Bradley said.

 

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