Groupie Doll Cruises in Filly & Mare Sprint
Groupie Doll continued her dominantion of the female sprint division Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park, inhaling her rivals on the turn to take the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) by 4 1/2 lengths under a hand ride from jockey Rajiv Maragh (VIDEO).
The 4-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band improved her win streak to five straight victories in graded stakes this year, three of them in grade I events. She was bred in Frankfort, Ky., by the father-son team of Fred and William "Buff" Bradley out of the Silver Deputy mare Deputy Doll.
"It's the first race we've ever won like this, so it's pretty special," said Buff Bradley, who trains the filly for an ownership group that includes himself, his father, Carl Hurst, and Brent Burns. "We started with her from before she was born. My dad has worked a long time for this and we worked a lot of hours on the farm, and we've seen a lot of them not make it to the races. When you get here you know how special it is, and to be able to have one and keep this one healthy all through the campaign is exceptional."
Making her eighth start of 2012, Groupie Doll stalked a pace set by longshot Teddy's Promise, who broke from the one hole to lead through early fractions of :22.23 and :44.19. After three-quarters in 1:08.45, she was looming large in third just behind the leader and second-place contender Dust and Diamonds, who took the lead heading into the stretch.
"You're the big favorite and expected to win, but you still have to get there," Maragh said. "There were several scenarios that could have unfolded but she's always just showed so much class and every race just keeps getting better. She is so consistent. She's obviously going to be champion."
Cruising for home under Maragh's confident handling, Groupie Doll easily collared that rival and widened away to an easy advantage under the wire. Final time for seven furlongs was 1:20.72.
Steve Asmussen, trainer of Dust and Diamonds, gave credit to the winner while praising his runner-up.
"She ran her race and gave everything she had," he remarked of Dust and Diamonds. "Julien (Leparoux) gave her a great ride and I am very proud of her. She got beat by a good horse, and has had a great year."
Defending Filly & Mare Sprint winner Musical Romance, last year's champion female sprinter, finished sixth in her bid for a repeat.
Sent off the 3-5 favorite in a field of 10, Groupie Doll returned $3.90, $2.60, and $2.10. Dust and Diamonds, the 9-2 second choice, paid $4.20 and $3.20 while Switch completed the trifecta another length back and paid $3.60 to show.
Groupie Doll improved her career record to 9-3-2 from 16 starts. Her other graded stakes victories this year came in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (gr. II), the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, and the Vinery Madison (gr. I) at Keeneland in the spring.
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