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Keeneland: Groupie Doll continues stakes streak with dominant Thoroughbred Club of America win
By Byron King
LEXINGTON, Ky. – In winning the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland on April 12, Groupie Doll vaulted to the top of the female sprint division. Six months later, her reign continues.
Saturday in the Grade 2, $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland, she notched her fourth consecutive graded stakes victory, cruising to a 6 1/2-length score over Strike the Moon.
In winning the Thoroughbred Club of America, she became a millionaire, improving her earnings to $1,047,850 for owners Fred Bradley, Carl Hurst, Brent Burns, and trainer Buff Bradley. She also earned an all-expenses paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, by virtue of the Thoroughbred Club of America being a Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Challenge race.
Although Groupie Doll was fifth early as Honey Chile set a moderate pace of 22.73 seconds in the six-furlong TCA, she always appeared to be moving comfortably and ready to catch the leaders whenever called upon.
The only concern for those who backed her to 2-5 favoritism was running room. Hemmed in behind horses and advancing on the turn, she briefly lacked running room as Honey Chile completed a half-mile in 45.85 seconds.
But once the field hit the stretch, an opening appeared for Groupie Doll, and in a matter of seconds, the race was over. Groupie Doll surged to the lead and increased her advantage to the wire, with Strike the Moon rallying to inch past pacesetter Honey Chile for the place position.
The winner, a 4-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band, raced six furlongs in 1:09.21 and returned $2.80.
“I could have went outside early, but I would have had to be real wide to go outside,” winning jockey Rajiv Maragh said. “So I was just patient and knew she was going to give me her run when it opened up, and she sure did.”
Trainer Buff Bradley said he has been encouraged to see Groupie Doll return this fall as sharp as she was in the spring after a summer hiatus.
“Sometimes when you give them time off like that, you don’t know if they are going to come back as strong as they left,” he said. “But she sure has.”
Groupie Doll, whose string of four consecutive stakes victories have come once blinkers were added to her equipment, is expected to be one of the heaviest favorites at the Breeders’ Cup in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
Very impressive. Powerful looking stride she has. It is very likely that she could be the shortest price of BC weekend, even with talented runners like Musical Romance, Contested, Turbulent Descent, Switch, Winding Way, and possibly It's Tricky in the F&M Sprint.
Powerful performance from Groupie Doll. She's an absolutely beautiful filly. When she turned on the jets at the end there was no heading her off. Congratulations, Groupie Doll, and to your connections on a commanding win. On to the Breeders' Cup!
- 1.Posted 12/02/2013 02:02PM
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- 5.Posted 11/30/2013 05:05PM