Champion female sprinter Groupie Doll came out of the Sept. 9 Presque Isle Masters Stakes (gr. II) in good order and will have an easy week as she prepares for her next start Oct. 5 at Keeneland, co-owner and trainer William "Buff" Bradley said Sept. 11.
Groupie Doll, a 5-year-old homebred mare by Bowman's Band, won the Masters in track record time of 1:14.88 for 6 1/2 furlongs on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs & Casino. She used a sustained run from the back of the pack to collar the freaky Purely Hot and draw away by 1 1/2 lengths.
Groupie Doll, also owned by Fred Bradley, Carl Hurst, and Brent Burns, finished third in the Aug. 10 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III) at Ellis Park in her first race since late November 2012.
"She ate up after the (Masters) and traveled back (to Churchill Downs) well," Bradley said. "I checked her out and she looked really good. I was surprised she was a little more 'up' than I expected. She really had to lay her body down to win that race.
"She looks bigger and stronger. She trained as well as ever (leading up to the Masters), so there was no reason to think she wasn't as good as she was last year."
Turuzzo Racing's Purely Hot, claimed for $10,000 by trainer Nick Caruso earlier this year, had won all six of her Presque Isle starts, including a $100,000 stakes. She got the jump on Groupie Doll in the Masters but held very well to the finish.
"I had a lot of people tell me before the race Purely Hot is a real nice filly that loves the course," Bradley said. "Any time you have a horse that really likes a racetrack, you have to be careful. (Her connections) were pretty pumped about her; she's not a fluke, and I don't care what she had run for before.
"(Groupie Doll) had to run up to her and keep running, and at one point I didn't think she would get by. But she just keeps coming at you. Don't take a deep breath, because she'll be at your throat."
Bradley reiterated that Groupie Doll would follow the same path as last year: the six-furlong Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland and the seven-furlong Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park, both of which she won last year. The former is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race.
Groupie Doll won the TCA last fall even though six furlongs may not be her best game. "I think seven furlongs is actually her best distance," Bradley said.