THOROUGHBRED CLUB OF AMERICA S. | PURSE: $250,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 2 | 6 FURLONGS
After saving ground for a half-mile, Groupie Doll had to wait patiently for a seam to open up at the top of the stretch in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland. When it finally did, the four-year-old burst through with ease and drew off to win the six-furlong Polytrack dash by 6 1/2 lengths. The 2-5 choice, now the probable early favorite in next month's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Groupie Doll returned $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10.
"I had a ton of horse. I was just being patient. I just waited for the opening," winning jockey Rajiv Maragh said. "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 sure did."
Honey Chile set early splits of :22 3/5 and :45 4/5, with Groupie Doll completing the trip in 1:09 1/5. Strike the Moon, a 25-1 chance, rallied from slightly off the pace to edge Honey Chile for second by a half-length. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Zermatt, who was followed by Mega Dream, Newstouse, Sally Sally, Emma's Encore and Giant Sensation.
Groupie Doll has now won four straight graded events, starting the streak in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland on April 12 and continuing with a track-record setting score in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Following a four-month break, Groupie Doll returned to action in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters on September 8 and rolled to a 3 3/4-length victory.
"We know she's right right now. She's been training well up to the race," said trainer "Buff" Bradley, who co-bred the filly with his father, Fred, and co-owns her with his father, Carl Hurst and William Burns. "After she came out of the Presque Isle [Downs Masters], I really felt 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."
Earlier this year, the filly was third in the Grade 2 Inside Information and Grade 3 Sabin following a runner-up effort in her seasonal bow at Gulfstream Park on January 27. Last year, Groupie Doll captured the Grade 3 Gardenia while placing in the Grade 2 Raven Run and Charles Town Oaks. She's been unplaced only twice in her 15-race career, with both of those efforts coming in turf races, and now shows an 8-3-2 line to go along with $1,047,850 in lifetime earnings.
Groupie Doll is out of the winning Silver Deputy mare Deputy Doll, who is a half-sister to dual stakes hero Russellthemussell, stakes-placed Slick Report and the dam of multiple Grade 2-placed stakes scorer Aristotle. This is the same female family of Grade/Group 1 winners Rootentootenwooten and Prorutori; Grade 2 diva Ivanavinalot, and Grade 3 victress It's Tea Time.
Groupie Doll's fourth dam is Floral Park, a stakes-winning half-sister to the dam of multiple champion Gallant Bloom as well as a full sister to Delaware and Ladies Handicap queen Flower Bowl, who is famous for producing Graustark and His Majesty.