Champion sprinter Groupie Doll put in her first work of the year June 29 at Churchill Downs, breezing a bullet three furlongs in :35 4/5 on a fast main track.
John McKee was in the irons guiding the 5-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band—Deputy Doll, by Silver Deputy, rolled through the first eighth in :11 3/5, the quarter in :23 3/5, and galloped out in :49 2/5.
“It was a good morning to see her back and to tell the partners that everything went well,” said trainer Buff Bradley, who co-bred Groupie Doll with his father, Fred. “She came back good and cooled out good. She’ll tell you when she wants to do something and she was ready.”
Groupie Doll won five consecutive graded stakes last year including the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Humana Distaff Stakes, and the Vinery Madison Stakes (all gr. I). She ended the 2012 season finishing a nose behind Stay Thirsty in the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I). Bradley gave her a month off following the Cigar then shipped to Gulfstream Park. Because he didn’t like the way she was training while in South Florida, the Bradleys sent her to their Indian Ridge Farm near Frankfort, Ky., for an extended break.
“The big thing was that she was willing to do it,” Bradley said June 29 of her work. “She was very willing to do it and she wasn’t at Gulfstream. Sometimes you don’t know with these fillies. They’re a little temperamental and they might not come back as good as you had hoped, but she seemed like her old self today.”
The chestnut mare may make her first start of the year either Aug. 23 in the $500,000 Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course or Sept. 9 in the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (gr. II) at Presque Isle Downs. She won the Masters by 3 3/4 lengths last year.
“We’ll keep breezing her and we’ll probably breeze her every Saturday,” Bradley said. “I know it’ll take about four more works to get her where we need to be and then we’ll start making a plan.”
Bradley co-owns Groupie Doll with his father, Fred, and Carl Hurst and Brent Burns. She has a record of 9-4-2 from 17 starts with earnings of $1,657,850. Out of her nine wins, six have been in graded stakes.