Gulfstream News & Notes
Groupie Doll Arrives at Gulfstream to Ready for 2013 Campaign
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) winner Groupie Doll arrived by van at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning.
Scheduled to make her 2013 debut in the Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream on March 17, Groupie Doll had been turned out for the past month at trainer Buff Bradley’s Indian Ridge Farm in Frankfort, Ky. The 4-year-old daughter of Bowman’s Band shared a paddock with Brass Hat, a retired 12-year-old gelding whom Bradley saddled for a Grade 1 victory in the 2006 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream.
“She’s been out every day. I don’t think she’s lost a lot (of conditioning). Brass Hat keeps her going,” Bradley said. “She’ll probably gallop the month of January and start breezing in February.”
Groupie Doll, who is the odds-on favorite to be named champion female sprinter at the Eclipse Awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 19, won three Grade 1 stakes in 2012 and had a five-race winning streak snapped in her final start of the year. Stay Thirsty just got up to nose her out in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct on Nov. 24.
“It was another great race. I don’t regret taking her up there,” Bradley said. “She showed everyone then that she’s one of the greatest.”
Groupie Doll’s 4 ½-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint looked easy, but it was achieved on a track that favored speed, which presented a challenge for the late-running filly.
“You could see early on in the Breeders’ Cup that she struggled a little bit because we knew we had to use her a little bit to have her stay up close and not let them get too far away,” Bradley said. “Rajiv and I talked about it. I don’t like to take a horse out of their running style, but we knew we were going to have to encourage her a little more earlier in the race.”
Groupie Doll was bred by Bradley and his 81-year-old father, Fred, who is currently dealing with physical issues.
“I went home for four days for Christmas and had to put him in the hospital with congestive heart failure. They’re draining the fluid; they’re giving him Lasix actually to drain the fluid,” Bradley said. “He should be doing better. It was tough to leave, but I had Groupie Doll coming in today.
Mucho Macho Man Works for Florida Sunshine Millions
Mucho Macho Man breezed half-mile at Gulfstream Saturday morning in preparation for a start in the $500,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 19. Exercise rider Nick Petro Jr. was aboard for the breeze, timed in :46 1/5 on splits of :11 2/5, :22 2/5 and :34 3/5 before galloping out in a minute.
“He went really good,” said trainer Kathy Ritvo, whose soon-to-be 5-year-old was equipped with blinkers for the workout. “He likes to train. He’s a horse that’s happiest when he trains."
Mucho Macho Man, who defeated Ron the Greek to capture the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic last year, concluded a productive 2012 campaign with a close second-place finish behind Fort Larned in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Gulfport Breezes for 2013 Debut
Dewey Square, a prominent candidate for the $400,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26, galloped instead of working Saturday morning, but trainer Dale Romans sent Gulfport to the track for a five-furlong breeze in preparation for his 2013 debut next Saturday.
The son of Unbridled’s Song, who is scheduled to run in the $200,000 Jerome (G2) at Aqueduct, was timed in :58 2/5 seconds before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 under jockey Corey Lanerie.
“He continues to impove. He’s a very classy horse with a class pedigree. He has the looks and the natural talent, and he’s just gotten better,” said Romans, whose colt won his final two starts of the 2012 campaign at Churchill Downs. “Today’s work is about as good as it gets.”
The Ken McPeek-trained Frac Daddy breezed an easy half-mile in :49 3/5. Goals for the son of Scat Daddy include the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) on Feb 23 and $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 30.