09/07/2013 1:15PM

Presque Isle Downs: Groupie Doll has no excuses in Masters

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Tom Keyser
In her 2013 debut, Groupie Doll was third as the 1-5 favorite in last month's Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park.

Her most recent loss came with a ready-made excuse, but if Groupie Doll somehow gets beaten as she defends her title Monday evening in the Presque Isle Downs Masters, well, things might be a little harder to explain.

Trainer Buff Bradley said Saturday at his Churchill Downs base that he certainly hopes to avoid that discomfiting position. Bradley said he has been very satisfied with Groupie Doll as the 2012 female sprint champion prepared to make her second start of the year Monday in the Grade 2, $400,000 Masters for fillies and mares at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa.

“I think she’s going into this really well,” he said. “She’s had two good half-mile works since her race at Ellis and galloped out real strong. She drew real well toward the outside, so we’re happy with that. Everything is good going in.”

Groupie Doll, with Rajiv Maragh riding again, will break from post 10, while her chief threat, Judy the Beauty, will break right alongside her in post 9 with David Flores aboard. Groupie Doll has been pegged by the track as the 6-5 favorite in a field of 11.

In her first start in more than eight months, Groupie Doll finished third as the 1-5 favorite in the Aug. 10 Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park. Her overall record is 9 wins from 18 starts, with earnings of $1,668,850.

The Masters, which goes at 6 1/2 furlongs on the Tapeta synthetic surface, is carded as the sixth of eight Monday races. First post is 5:25 p.m. Eastern, with the feature set for 7:40. The race will be shown live on TVG.

Last year, Groupie Doll rolled to a 3 3/4-length victory in the Masters amid a five-race win streak that ended with a romp in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Bradley, who owns the 5-year-old Groupie Doll with his father, Fred, and with Brent Burns and Carl Hurst, has mapped out an identical end-of-year plan for her, with the next starts coming in the Oct. 5 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland and the Nov. 1 BC Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.

Judy the Beauty, owned and trained by Wesley Ward, was scratched from the Aug. 23 Ballerina at Saratoga when she acted up at the starting gate.

“Maybe that was a blessing since she didn’t get seriously hurt,” Ward said. “I wouldn’t have been able to run back so quick in this, so maybe we’ll get lucky, and it’ll all work out.”

Judy the Beauty, a 4-year-old Ontario-bred, has 4 wins and 6 seconds from 10 career starts. The speedy filly is unbeaten in three starts over synthetic surfaces.

Under allowance conditions, Groupie Doll will carry only 112 pounds, and Judy the Beauty totes 115. The weights range from 110 to 118 for the others.

colt More than 1 year ago
Seriously at 112 lbs and second off Is the Doll anything but beautiful
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
I look at this as a value race - Groupie Doll looks like 3-5 - Judy the Beauty 3-1 - the others are all take a shot and see what happens. If the place pool is under 40% on GD then it would be a good value bet - over that and not worth the trouble. JTB under 20% in the place pool is value. Didn't mention the Show pool cause it depends on bridge jumpers and how you feel about that.
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
How does it go? Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Bet on Groupie Doll and add to your bankroll. Tahe the 7/5 and run. Fair odds are 4/5
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
I expect her (groupie) to run huge, this is one of the best horses in the world, 2nd off is the charm... PHot, no 10000 claimer anymore. Destroyed a very good field in 100000 stakes while racing wide in one of the most impressive performances ive seen at PID....last 3 were public workouts (with a 20000$ paycheck) horse under wraps each time. Loves the track!
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
No shot. No class.
John More than 1 year ago
All these different surfaces, poly-"crap" synthetic, and natural dirt, seems like horses dont hold their form going from one surface to another ! Here in California, thank-goodness Hollywood Parks track is going by way of the real estate boom, and now all we need is for Del Mar to get rid of that horrendus surface that changes with the heat and humidity .............................then they might be considered for the Breeders Cup in 2015 or 2016 .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Del Mar has no choice. All major tracks in California were ordered by the state to switch to a synthetic surface. Santa Anita was allowed to go back to dirt because of drainage problems. They probably purposely did not fix them but that is just my opinion. The company that installed Santa Anita's synthetic surface did not get paid for their service and the rest of Santa Anita's expenses were paid by insurance. Bay Meadows closed due to the mandate. If Fairplex or any other track not owned by the public gets major dates, they will have to put a synthetic surface in.
Eduardo Leon More than 1 year ago
I`m Feeling the love with Groupie Doll,,Long time no Love
Rick Leoni More than 1 year ago
Just have a feeling groupie doll not the same horse as last year going to take a shot with local horse purely hot seems to be horse for course
Joseph Duckett More than 1 year ago
a $10,000 claimer? not likely...horse for course angle is trumped by class hike.
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
I agree. Will be playing Judy the Beauty and hoping to get 3-1.
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
I expect her to run huge, this is one of the best horses in the world (groupie) 2nd off is the charm... your right about PHot, no 10000 claimer anymore, Destroyed a very good field in 100000 stakes while racing wide in one of the most impressive performances ive seen at PID....last 3 were public workouts (with a 20000$ paycheck) horse under wraps each time....if your right about GD not running, you'll get 10-1 or more!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree. Groupie Doll probably has lost a step. I may be wrong but i think she will get hung wide again and just not have the energy to ever get to the lead. Her next start would be her best off the layoff. She is also starting her year off differently from last year so she is behind at this point.
Benjamin Gay More than 1 year ago
Lost a step? She was shuffled back to last and came around the whole field to set the track record. She's getting better and better with every race!