11/14/2012 3:29PM

Churchill Downs: Cigar Mile a possibility for Groupie Doll

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Barbara D. Livingston
Groupie Doll, winning the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, may stretch out to a mile against male rivals in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, depending on the weight assignments.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trainer Buff Bradley said Wednesday at Churchill Downs that he is mulling the possibility of running Groupie Doll against males in the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, depending on what the weight assignments look like.

Bradley said he has little to lose by trying male rivals in the Nov. 24 Cigar Mile, given that Groupie Doll surely clinched a 2012 Eclipse Award for top female sprinter with another convincing triumph Nov. 3 in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Bradley, who bred and co-owns Groupie Doll with his father, Fred, initially said he intended to give Groupie Doll some time off at the family farm in Frankfort, Ky., before he takes the filly and his other top horses to Florida for the winter before Groupie Doll gears up for a 5-year-old campaign.

But upon further review, with the filly staying put at Churchill and feeling as good as she is, the Cigar Mile is a possibility. Weight assignments for the Cigar Mile are due for release Sunday.

“It wouldn’t be an easy race, but with as good as she is right now, we’re thinking about it,” said Bradley.

Referring to Groupie Doll’s appearance at a parade of Breeders’ Cup winners here Sunday, Bradley said she was “dragging around” her handlers.

“I want to make sure the weights are fair,” he said. “If they look all right, we’ll probably go.”

Groupie Doll has won five straight races since Bradley added quarter-cup blinkers to her equipment. At 3-5 odds, she was the heaviest favorite to win a Breeders’ Cup event during the two-day event at Santa Anita. She has earned more than $1.3 million this year, all for the Bradleys and their minority partners, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns.

Rick Baldwin More than 1 year ago
The fans like it when a mare takes on the boys. This will make the race a national event-go for it Buff.
russell More than 1 year ago
I don't see the benefit of running her in this race. She has to ship, stretch out to 1 mile, and face males. And even if she does win she is not passing Wise Dan for HOY. I agree with Union Rage comment- "Don't squeeze the lemon dry" There is almost no reason for top horses aged 3 and up to race this late in the year. 2 year-olds are a different story because there is always nice pots to be won at 3 years-old and the season starts early.
Kristopher Marshall More than 1 year ago
The race is $350,000 and she will probably be favored. You don't see the benefit of running? Why do you think people have racehorses?
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
The one turn mile plays like an elongated sprint and she does not need the lead to run her best race. She sits off the first half and takes control at the top of the stretch. If she holds her form, she runs away from whoever they send and laughs.
Albert More than 1 year ago
Eric, I would like to see this race, but history suggests that sprinters don't stretch out as easily as you describe. That last eighth can be a real bear.
Old timer More than 1 year ago
I believe that they must have HOY at least in the back of their minds to run her in this. The one turn mile definitely helps her chances. I agree with others who have said Wise Dan will be hard to unseat for HOY. Still I hope that she runs. It will make the race much more interesting.
Mick More than 1 year ago
This would be exciting to see. I can see why they'd run her too. That break they gave her over the summer more than likely has her in top form even now after the Breeders' Cup, plus she has run well versus males in the past, and she's better now than she was then. Should she enter, she could very likely be the horse to beat.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Who could even compete with her right now that is still running ? Alpha is the top 3yo in training LOL.
Ange More than 1 year ago
If she does run there and she wins... she should be horse of the year. Right now, she has 3 Grade 1 wins and 2 Grade 2 wins. Wise Dan has 3 Grade 1s, 1 grade 2 and 1 grade 3. I keep saying that Sovereign & Eclipse Awards should be awarded based on points, not on subjective votes. So based on that, Groupie Doll already beats Wise Dan, a win in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile just cements it.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Good point. If she won the cigar mile she would definitely enter the discussion for hoy. Certainly ahead of royal delta who has no claim to hoy without once facing the boys. Figures the one time all year I key groupie doll she finishes third and I've got her keyed up the wazoo with 55-1 hot summer and musical romance who was 5-0-0-0 at GP runs past both of then in deep stretch. After that race musical couldn't get within an acre of groupie doll. Oh well. Still a good year for perl.
B More than 1 year ago
I don't think it's quite that simple. Not all Grade 1's are of equal importance and certainly hers are not the equivalent of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness or the Breeders Cup Mile. While she is very intriguing, I don't think beating a bunch of sprinting fillies is a HOY candidate. Love to see her run in the Cigar though.
Ange More than 1 year ago
See, that's my point about the subjective voting. If all Grade 1's aren't of importance, than maybe there should be fewer Grade 1's and they should be harder to get into. What's the point of having a grade 1 race if many people think it's ho-hum?
Mick More than 1 year ago
Not sure about HOY, though a win here could challenge Royal Delta for Older Female. Although as we did see last year two-turn wins trump one turn in the end.
Rick Baldwin More than 1 year ago
Beat the boys & she gets my vote for Top mare.
Benjamin Gay More than 1 year ago
If She wins??? She gets my vote for HOTY
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Don't have access to her PP's, but if memory serves, Groupie Doll ran long, and with moderate success, last year at Turfway. I tninik she was ridden by Greta Kuntzweiler at the time, and while she didn't win, she had a good closing punch. She's so much better now, there's no reason not to give the Cigar Mile a shot, if the weight assignment isn't too high (and the spread too great.) I doubt very much the Bradleys would ever put their star at risk, and she did have a nice break over the summer. So, sure, go for it, girl!
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
As a guy that's been around racing 40 years. I would suggest not squeezing the lemon dry. Try not to be greedy. Go with your first plan, turn her out.
chembites More than 1 year ago
Well spoken by someone who doesn't know the difference between a filly who's raring to go and a lemon.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
You've been around racing for 40 years and the name you come up with is Union Rags?
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
She's in top form. Others aren't. But she may be a high weight in light of this. I would not run an extra furlong with weight.. Weird that the ny bred Lumber Guy running in Malibu over this spot.
Perl More than 1 year ago
It would be cool but I would never risk my mare in that spot for $350k in purses. And why is such a prestigious race only worth 350? I thought NY was flush with casino money. They were putting up 80 grand for low level claimers earlier this year. I would never criticize her connections for taking a shot but she would also be stretching out a bit. Doesn't seem worth the risk unless nyra ponies up more cash for the race.