Groupie Doll Makes Return in Gardenia
Category : News
Tue 06/08/2013 - 00:00 EDT
The highly anticipated 2013 racing debut of Groupie Doll is right around the corner, as the speedy mare makes her seasonal bow facing four others in the Grade III $100,000 Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park on Saturday. The Gardenia, for three-year-old and up fillies and mares, is run over one mile on the Ellis Park dirt, and is the mid-point showcase of the summer meet at the western Kentucky track. It was at the Gardenia that Groupie Doll first arrived on the racing scene, winning in 2011.
Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion in 2012
It was last year, however, that the five-year-old daughter of Bowman’s Band really caught fire. Starting with a win in the Grade I Vinery Madison Stakes at Churchill, Groupie Doll went on a tear, reeling off four more dominating victories, culminating in a 4 ½ length win in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Filly and Mare Sprint. Three weeks later, however, she took a slightly awkward step in the drive to the wire of the Cigar Mile at Aquaduct, was beaten by a nose, and hasn’t raced since.
Awesome Flower is one looking for an upset
While she’ll be facing a small field in the Gardenia, it will by no means be a walk in the park for Groupie Doll coming off the long layoff. Facing her will be Awesome Flower, herself on a two-race win streak including taking the Lady Canterbury Stakes her last time out. Also in the field are graded-stakes winners Ice Cream Silence and Dixie Strike, who was beaten by a nose in the Sweet Briar Too Stakes at Woodbine her last time out. Twice the Lady, with a pair of graded stakes placings recently to her name, completes the field.
One of the most historic - and controversial - editions of the Kentucky Derby is in the books and the next leg of the US Triple Crown moves to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course for the running of the Preakness Stakes. The 1 3/16 test over the Pimlico dirt track is drawing a wide-open field of three-year-old thoroughbreds gunning for the $1.5 million purse.
Led to the gate by pre-race morning line favorite Omaha Beach, a full field of 20 are set to line up for the 145th Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon. They're running for a total purse of $3 million on the 1 1/4 mile Churchill dirt course and making their bid to follow 2018 winner Justify as Triple Crown champions.
The $100,000 Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes July 2 at Churchill Downs features a field of nine up-and-coming two year olds in a race that may be as confusing as it is competitive.
With the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster the centerpiece of a stellar Downs After Dark racing card June 18 at Churchill Downs, the expected field of seven older runners presents an interesting handicapping puzzle.