All signs point to the Breeders’ Cup for Groupie Doll.
The 4-year-old filly, bred and raised by Fred Bradley and Buff Bradley of Frankfort and trained by Buff Bradley, won the $400,000 (Grade 2) Masters Stakes on Saturday night at Presque Isle Downs.
Groupie Doll, the favorite coming off a four-month layoff and ridden by Rajiv Maragh, tracked the leaders from the fourth spot and rallied around the last turn to win by two lengths.
“It was awesome,” Buff Bradley said. “She didn’t break so well. That was our plan though, we know sometimes she doesn’t break well. I told Rajiv, ‘The only thing I’ll say to you is sometimes she doesn’t break well and you have to get after her and not let her relax too much.’ He did as instructed. She finished up well.”
The 6½-furlong sprint has produced the past three Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winners and Eclipse Award winners for Female Sprinter of the Year for the last three years.
Bradley said his horse, which has earned $927,850 in her career, has skyrocketed to the top of the watch list for the Breeders’ Cup.
And if doubters don’t think she deserves such a ranking, Bradley also pointed to the weather. Halfway through the Masters, rain started pouring from the sky. It was the type of performance that reminded him of another champion.
“They were going into the gate and big rain drops started coming down,” Bradley said. “I remember the same thing happened to me when Brass Hat won my first Grade 1 race down in Florida in the Donn Handicap and broke the track record. It started doing the same thing. I don’t mind the rain.”
Brass Hat won more than $2.1 million in his career before being retired last year. Buff Bradley trained him and his father, Fred Bradley owned and bred Brass Hat in Frankfort.
“We’ve got a lot of Frankfort connection to it,” Buff Bradley said. “Me and my father pulled her out of her mother in Frankfort. The groom Matt Hebert is from Frankfort and lives in Frankfort. I have a bunch of people who work for me from Frankfort, so it is kind of neat to bring that home to Frankfort.”
Groupie Doll’s final prep race will be Keeneland’s $200,000 Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America.
Notes: The Bradleys and their partners recently paid the $50,000 supplemental fee, making Groupie Doll eligible for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.