A maiden less than two months ago, Fred Bradley and Buff Bradley’s homebred Groupie Doll is now a graded stakes winner, thanks to a rail-skimming trip by Greta Kuntzweiler that earned her victory in the $100,000 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) Aug. 13 at Ellis Park.
The only 3-year-old in a field of 12 fillies and mares, Groupie Doll recovered from an awkward start to stay near the pace, was able to race near the inside, and found an opening along the rail in upper stretch en route to passing Stage Magic. The daughter of Bowman's Band—Deputy Doll, by Silver Deputy, scored by three lengths at odds of 7-1 for her third consecutive victory. The chestnut filly is trained by Buff Bradley.
Carrying 113 pounds, she covered one mile in 1:37.37 on a fast main track. Secret File rallied for second, 3 3/4 lengths in front of Stage Magic. Fortune Play was fourth.
The pace was set by favored Tidal Pool, who carved out splits of :23.59, :46.58, and 1:11.44 before tiring to finish fifth.
Groupie Doll broke her maiden at second asking June 17 at Churchill Downs, then followed with an authoritative 8 1/2-length entry-level allowance win July 4 in the Ellis Park slop. She has now earned $113,130 for her father-son owners.
The winner paid $17.40, $9.60, and $6.20. The exacta (2-1) returned $89 and the trifecta (2-1-6) was worth $1,140.20.
The Gardenia is the lone graded race of the Ellis Park summer meet.