Breeder's Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) winner Groupie Doll, who arrived at Gulfstream Park Dec. 29, has yet to make it to the racetrack to train due to less-than-perfect blood work.
"Her blood work hasn't been just right yet, so we haven't even taken her to the track yet," said trainer Buff Bradley, who bred and owns the 5-year-old mare (Bowman's Band—Deputy Doll) in partnership with his father, Fred. "She's eating good; her temperature's normal; she's not coughing; but she's had to be put on antibiotics, trying to get her blood right."
"It's showing there's some kind of infection she's fighting," Bradley continued. "We pulled it again on Monday (Jan. 7), and it's getting better. So we thought we'd walk her another five days and pull it again and see how that's like. We (want) to make sure the horse is right before we go back with her. We're not pushed for time or anything."
Bradley has set the $200,000 Inside Information (gr. II) at Gulfstream March 17 as a goal for Groupie Doll's 2013 debut.
"She's been very healthy. She's had all her vaccines and everything, it's just maybe a bug or something," Bradley said. "She really hasn't shown a big sickness or anything, which is good. But I don't want to start her training and knock her back, because that's what would happen."
Groupie Doll is the leading candidate to be named champion female sprinter at the Jan. 19 Eclipse Awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park.
"It's pretty exciting knowing that she ought to have the Filly & Mare Sprint division wrapped up pretty good," said Bradley. "I always wanted to walk up there and get a little horse, that statue. It's great to know that a horse we bred and raised right from the start is a champion. The whole team and family are excited and proud."
Along with his father, Bradley sold shares in Groupie Doll to longtime clients Carl Hurst and Brent Burns. Fred Bradley was hospitalized in late December with congestive heart failure.
"He's doing better," Bradley said. "He's back home (in Kentucky). He's been doing OK, but he's not going to be able to make it down for the Eclipse Awards. He just doesn't feel up to traveling right now."