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.

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