Mandy Pope added another top mare to her broodmare band Nov. 6 when she landed champion female sprinter Groupie Doll for $3.1 million at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Pope's Whisper Hill Farm went to $5.2 million to land the sale-topping Galileo mare Betterbetterbetter at Monday's Fasig-Tipton November sale. Last year, Pope spent $14.2 million to purchase Horse of the Year Havre de Grace and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Plum Pretty for her broodmare band.
On Wednesday, Pope went to $3.1 million for Groupie Doll, who secured her second straight Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) victory Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park. The win was the eighth stakes victory—half of those coming in grade I events—for the 5-year-old Bowman's Band mare.
"This was a lot of fun, too," Pope said. "That was great."
Pope credited trainer Buff Bradley's handling of the champion.
"Obviously he did a great job, knew the mare quite well, and knew what she was capable of doing without pushing her too hard, and I'm sure he took very good care of her," Pope said. "(The campaign was) well planned to do what she did off her limited racing this year. It was an excellent job on his part."
A homebred for Buff and Fred Bradley, Groupie Doll was campaigned by the Bradleys, Carl Hurst, and Brent Burns. She was consigned by Tom Evans' Trackside Farm, agent for the owners. Buff Bradley was pleased with Groupie Doll's new home.
"I am very happy about the price and very happy with where she's going," Bradley said.
Pope said she would give some consideration to starting Groupie Doll in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) Nov. 30 at Aqueduct Racetrack, but she noted that she purchased her as a broodmare. Groupie Doll was second by a nose to Stay Thirsty in last year's Cigar.
"I told her that if she thought about racing her again, I'd love to train her," Bradley said. "We're so thrilled that she got her. We know she's building up a big, strong broodamre band, so we're very happy about that. We know she's going to a place that's just down the road and she said that we can come see her."
As she had on the track, Groupie Doll lived up to the expectations as a sales prospect for her owners and extended family that included a large fan base.
Several hours before she went through the ring, the Trackside barn at Keeneland was inundated with media, fans, and families of the Bradleys and their partners. Before she was led up to the sales ring, Groupie Doll was taken out of her stall by trainer Bradley to be shown one more time.
At the sales pavilion, Fred Bradley, who decided not to attend this year's Breeders' Cup because of health reasons, sat on a bench in the spectator area that is just outside the main bidding seating. Fred and Buff sat alongside each other as the announcer recounted Groupie Doll's exploits on the track and a video displayed her Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup win.
The Bradleys and their partners watched as the bidding opened at $500,000 and quickly went to $1 million before it increased in increments to $2.5 million. The announcer then reminded the audience of the mare's exploits and it was not long before the $3 million mark was achieved.
The final bid elicited a cheer from the crowd as the classy mare exited the ring.
The $3.1 million price ranked second overall at the sale through hip 350. Awesome Maria sold for $4 million Nov. 5.
Kentucky-bred Groupie Doll is out of the Silver Deputy mare Deputy Doll.