By Claire Novak & Anne Eberhardt Keogh
Champion Groupie Doll delivered her first foal on March 5, about a week before her original March 11 due date, Wayne Sweezey of Timber Town Stable confirmed March 28. The Tapit colt was rushed immediately to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington for critical nursing care.
Groupie Doll, a 7-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band, recovered well from foaling and did not display any post-delivery issues. She is set to be bred back to Tapit next week.
The foal has been under the care of Dr. Bonnie Barr. He was initially too weak to stand or nurse but has made great progress since the first couple of weeks, his connections said.
"He now is able to get up and down on his own and has a nurse mare, Molly," read a statement from the owner. "He continues to get stronger every day. He is receiving the very best medical care available along with great emotional support from the staff at Rood & Riddle, Timber Town, and (Mandy Pope's) Whisper Hill Farm.
"Ms. Pope has chosen to deal with Groupie's foal in a private manner in order not to cause any undue stress and distraction from his care. She is extremely appreciative of all the long hours of care that has been provided by Dr. Barr, and the entire staff at Rood & Riddle. She is very grateful for Wayne's efforts to save the foal and to get him immediately to Rood & Riddle.
"We are all optimistic of a great outcome resulting in a normal foal and look forward to the day when the foal can leave the clinic."
Bred in Kentucky by Fred Bradley and Buff Bradley out of the Silver Deputy mare Deputy Doll, Groupie Doll raced to titles as champion female sprinter in 2012 and 2013, winning the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) both seasons while campaigned by her breeders and partners Carl Hurst and Brent Burns.
Groupie Doll was purchased by Pope for $3.1 million at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale as a racing or broodmare prospect when consigned by Trackside Farm, agent, and concluded her career Feb. 9 of 2014 with a victory in the Hurricane Bertie Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. Her race record was 12-4-4 from 23 starts, with earnings of $2,648,850.