08/02/2013 7:55AM

Groupie Doll to make 2013 debut in Gardenia at Ellis Park

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Barbara D. Livingston
Groupie Doll will use the Gardenia as a launch point toward a repeat attempt in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Trainer Buff Bradley said Friday from Churchill Downs that his star mare Groupie Doll will make her 5-year-old debut next Saturday, Aug. 10, in the Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes, the annual showcase race at Ellis Park in western Kentucky.

Groupie Doll, unraced since late November, has been working forwardly toward the one-mile Gardenia in recent weeks, including a half-mile breeze Friday in 48 seconds over a fast Churchill track.

Bradley intends to use the Gardenia as a launching point for three races she swept last year en route to being named champion female sprinter: the Sept. 9 Presque Isle Downs Masters, the Oct. 6 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland, and the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.

Bradley said two of the compelling reasons for starting off in the Gardenia is that Ellis has been his father’s “hometown track forever” and “this way I don’t have to drill her into the race at Presque Isle.”

Bradley bred Groupie Doll with his father, Fred. The Bradleys own her in partnership with Carl Hurst and Brent Burns.

The $100,000 Gardenia was the first stakes Groupie Doll ever won when she defeated older horses as a 3-year-old in 2011. Now a winner in 9 of 17 starts and $1,657,850, she will be ridden as usual by Rajiv Maragh.

Among the other probables for the Gardenia are Awesome Flower, Draw It, Ice Cream Silence, and Yankee Union. Entries are being taken and drawn Sunday.

saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
Awesome, cant wait to see her again at PID
Louie Carnesco More than 1 year ago
I love Groupie Doll! Shes an amazing horse. Unfortunately, I'm not so crazy about Rajiv
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Welcome back, Doll! I think you got the Gardenia!
Courthouseguy1999 More than 1 year ago
Hopefully they take another shot at the Cigar Mile too, if her form holds like it did last year!
Alex Martinez More than 1 year ago
Glad to see her back!
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Let's hope they have all the rocks cleared off the track. For Ellis fans at least they get to see a grade 1 horse in the flesh which is very rare. For bettors I suppose it will be an exhibition with not much in the way of betting opportunities with very compact field likely. This looks like an absolute walk over if Groupie Doll is 75% fit.
Randy Atkins More than 1 year ago
Alright...get to see Groupie Doll run at my hometown track again....she'll go off at 2/5 because she'll be running against a bunch of horses who are there to run for second, third, and fourth place money...
Greg More than 1 year ago
Talk about saving a horse.
Benjamin Gay More than 1 year ago
It's a nice warm-up race after a 9 month break.
romero_seth More than 1 year ago
Coming back to where it All started for her. Thanks buff