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Gulfstream to raise purse for Hurricane Bertie if Groupie Doll runs

Gulfstream Park announced Feb. 2 that if two-time champion Groupie Doll runs in Sunday’s Hurricane Bertie (G3) as expected, the purse will be increased $50,000 to $200,000.

Groupie Doll

Groupie Doll

Groupie Doll put in her final workout for the race Sunday, breezing four furlongs under Jada Schlenk at Gulfstream in :48 1/5 under the watch of trainer Buff Bradley and owner Mandy Pope.

“She’s amazing,” Schlenk said.  “I had to get her off the rail because she wasn’t handling it. She went in the three-path the whole way and at the quarter pole she took off on her own. I didn’t have to ask her. She’s amazing.”

Sunday’s breeze, completed with a 1:02 gallop-out for five furlongs, was the fourth since the two-time Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner arrived at Gulfstream.

“She looked great, finished up strong and galloped out good,” said Bradley, who bred the daughter of Bowman’s Band in partnership with his father, Fred, and campaigned her with his father and longtime clients Carl Hurst and Brent Burns before selling her at auction.

Groupie Doll finished a troubled fourth in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct on Nov. 30 in her first start under the colors of Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm. Pope wanted to give her new broodmare acquisition a chance to conclude her career on a winning note in the Hurricane Bertie before being bred to Tapit later this winter.

“I’m very excited and looking forward to it. I hope it’s going to be a lot of fun for us and all the fans and people here,” Pope said. “I know she’ll put on a good performance. She just needs a little luck and for things to go right.”

The Hurricane Bertie is one of three graded stakes races on Sunday’s program along with the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) and $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1). The Donn kicks off the The Jockey Club on FOX racing series.

–Gulfstream Park publicity

Gulfstream Park photo