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Churchill Downs: Cigar Mile a possibility for Groupie Doll
By Marty McGee
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.
The fans like it when a mare takes on the boys. This will make the race a national event-go for it Buff.
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.
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.
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.
Who could even compete with her right now that is still running ? Alpha is the top 3yo in training LOL.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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