Monday, October 29, 2012
Groupie Doll highlights F&M Sprint
While Groupie Doll's stellar 2012 record puts her in a different league than many of her competitors in the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, the heavy favorite will still have to face several other accomplished Grade 1-winning fillies in the seven-furlong race.
The Filly and Mare Sprint, the second race on the Nov. 3 card at Santa Anita Park, drew 10 contenders and has a post time of 12:35 p.m. PDT.
Groupie Doll blasted three furlongs in :34 2/5 Oct. 29 at Santa Anita with regular exercise rider Jada Schlenk aboard in preparation for her Breeders' Cup attempt. The work was the co-fastest of 19 at the distance.
"She loved the track, galloped out strong, and looked excellent," said trainer Buff Bradley, who owns the Kentucky-bred daughter of Bowman's Band -- Deputy Doll, by Silver Deputy in partnership with his father, Fred, Carl Hurst, and Brent Burns.
"Everything has gone well since the ship [to California]," added Bradley of the filly, who made her first trip to the West Coast. "I think she's really ready to run super."
Groupie Doll has won or placed in all of her seven starts this year, including victories in the Humana Distaff, Vinery Madison, Presque Isle Downs Masters, and Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes last out Oct. 6.
Bradley said he was pleased with Groupie Doll's post position 9. "I wanted anything from 6-10, so it worked out fine," he said. [Jockey Rajiv Maragh] can just sit there in the catbird seat and watch what develops in front of him."
The chestnut filly may face some stiff competition from last year's Filly and Mare Sprint winner Musical Romance. The Florida-bred daughter of Concorde's Tune finished second to Groupie Doll in the Humana Distaff and will seek to turn the tables on her at Santa Anita.
Musical Romance is trained by William Kaplan, who owns her with Pinnacle Racing. A nine-time stakes winner during her seasoned, 40-start career, Musical Romance's other Grade 1 victory came in this year's Princess Rooney Handicap. She enters the Filly and Mare Sprint off a score in the Mike Sherman Memorial Stakes at Calder Race Course.
Musical Romance will be ridden by regular jockey Juan Leyva and will break from post 8.
Other Grade 1 winners in the field are the Todd Pletcher-trained Turbulent Descent, who scored in the Aug. 24 Ballerina, plus the 2011 Santa Anita Oaks and 2010 Hollywood Starlet Stakes; the John Sadler-trained Switch, winner of the 2010 La Brea and 2011 Santa Monica, plus this year's A Gleam; and Teddy's Promise, who captured the 2011 La Brea and a minor stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park this year.
Turbulent Descent, who was assigned odds of 5-1, drew post 6 and will be piloted by John Velazquez; Switch, who has odds of 12-1, will leave from the outside post under Garrett Gomez; and 20-1 shot Teddy's Promise gets the services of Joe Talamo and must overcome breaking from the rail.
Also posing a threat is 9-2 shot Dust and Diamonds, who enters the Filly and Mare Sprint off a three-race win streak, the most recent of which was the Sept. 22 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park. Trained by Steve Asmussen for Padua Stables, she drew the 3 post and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.