Groupie Doll put her winning streak on the line at Keeneland and preserved it emphatically Oct. 6, taking the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (gr. II) by 6 1/2 lengths while pushing her earnings past the million mark (VIDEO).
The 4-year-old Bowman's Band filly found herself behind a wall of runners turning for home, but split horses at the head of the lane and quickly sprinted clear. She completed the six-furlong event for older fillies and mares in 1:09.21 and will head to the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park a formidable foe, having won four top level stakes races in a row for owner/trainer William "Buff' Bradley.
Groupie Doll came off a 3 3/4-length victory in the Sept. 8 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (gr. II), and before that won the Humana Distaff (gr. I) by 7 1/4 at Churchill Downs and the Vinery Madison (gr. I) at Keeneland by three in the spring. Victory in the Thoroughbred Club of America, a "Win and You're In" event, gave her a guaranteed berth to the Breeders' Cup race of her division.
'We know she's right now," Bradley remarked. 'She's been training well up to the race. After she came out of the Presque Isle race, I felt really good. She came into form again. Sometimes when you give them time off like that you don't know if they're going to come back as strong. But she sure has."
Jockey Rajiv Maragh settled Groupie Doll well in fifth as Honey Chile went up to a one-length lead through a quarter in :22.73 and a half in :45.85. The winner, favored at odds of 2-5 in a nine-horse field, kicked clear through five-eighths in :57.46 and galloped beneath the wire under a hand ride as Strike the Moon closed well for second and Honey Chile held on to complete the trifecta.
"I had a ton of horse," Maragh said of the anxious moment when he looked for running room at the top of the stretch. "I was just being patient; I just waited for the opening. I could have gone outside early but I would have had to go real wide so I was just patient and knew she was going to give me her run when it opened up... and she did."
Groupie Doll returned $2.40, $2.20, and $2.10, Strike the Moon paid $11.60 and $7, and Honey Chile brought $3.40. Zermatt, Mega Dream, Newstouse, Sally Sally, Emma's Encore, and Giant Sensation completed the order of finish.
Bred in Kentucky by Fred Bradley and William Bradley out of the Silver Deputy mare Deputy Doll, Groupie Doll extended her record to 8-3-2 from 15 starts with $1,047,850 in purses won. She races for the partnership of Fred Bradley, William Bradley, Carl Hurst, and Brent Burns.