Trainer William “Buff” Bradley confirmed Sunday that Groupie Doll will make her next start against boys in Saturday’s Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The multiple grade 1 stakes winner was assigned to carry 118 pounds in the race.
Exiting a 4 ½-length victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park, Groupie Doll rides a five-race winning streak into the Cigar Mile including additional Grade 1 victories in Keeneland’s Vinery Madison and Churchill Downs’ Humana Distaff this spring. In her only previous start against males, Groupie Doll was beaten just three-quarters of a length by Boys At Tosconova in a January 27 optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park.
“I wasn’t looking for another race for her; I wasn’t looking for a race against boys,” Bradley said by phone from Kentucky. “I thought that trip [to and from California] might knock her back a little, but they had the parade of Breeders’ Cup champions here at Churchill last weekend and she was just feeling so good. We took her to the track to train her just to let her down a little. I never even thought about the Cigar Mile until that weekend.”
Groupie Doll worked a half-mile at Churchill on Saturday, covering the distance in 48.20.
“She came back good and ate up last night,” Bradley said. “Since the layoff over the summer she’s only had three starts and she’s won all three of them impressively. She’ll get a vacation after this regardless, but she’s got something left. We want to run her when she’s ready to run, and she’s ready right now. The one-turn mile is good for her and I feel she can be competitive in a race like this.”
Bradley, who bred and co-owns Groupie Doll with his father, Fred, said the 4-year-old Bowman’s Band filly would van to Aqueduct on Thanksgiving Day.
Groupie Doll/Palmer photo