Rocket Fuel
Please provide a valid email address.
Close

Blog - RACING

The conventional thinking is that the Breeders’ Cup World Championships bring down the curtain on the year in racing.

Once mid-November rolls around, drama and excitement usually go into hibernation until the chase for the Triple Crown begins in earnest the following year.

Yet this year, there could be a change in the status quo.

The announcement by trainer and part owner Buff Bradley that Groupie Doll, the year’s best female sprinter, may take on males in the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct dangles the possibility that there could be a dazzling show in the hurricane-ravaged Big Apple on Thanksgiving weekend.

Groupie Doll was one of the brightest stars of Breeders’ Cup weekend, winning the  Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) by 4 ½ lengths in a swift 1:20.72, living up to her advance billing as the one horse at the world championships that should be singled in a multi-race wager.

A lock to be named the champion female sprinter at the Eclipse Awards in January, Groupie Doll could elevate her reputation to a higher level if she can stretch out to a mile on Nov. 24 and beat a select field that could include four other Grade 1 stakes winners – unless she scares some of them away.

“She’s so good right now,” said Bradley, who considered giving Groupie Doll a vacation until Gulfstream opens but changed that itinerary after seeing the spunk his horse showed during the Breeders’ Cup Parade of Champions at Churchill Downs on Nov. 11. “It wouldn’t be an easy race, but with as good as she is right now, we’re thinking about it.”

If she goes, it will turn the Cigar Mile into a race worthy of Saratoga in mid-August. Already scheduled to serve as the final race for 2011 Travers Stakes (G1) winner Stay Thirsty, other candidates for the Cigar include Donn  Handicap (G1) winner Hymn Book, 2011 Cigar Mile winner Jersey Town, and either Capital Account or 2011 Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) winner Coil from trainer Bob Baffert’s barn.

Weight assignments, which will be announced Sunday, will be the final factor in Bradley’s decision, and if all is well on that front we just might be treated to the excitement of one of the sport’s brightest stars taking on the biggest challenge of her career – with December right around the corner, no less.

Who needs Black Friday when you can get a holiday gift like that?

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Sponsors & Partners

  • FoxSports1
  • NBC Sports
  • Logo 6
  • Saratoga
  • Santa Anita
  • CBS Sports
  • Monmouth
  • Keeneland
  • Gulfstream Park
  • Del Mar
  • Belmont Park
  • Arlington Park
  • OwnerView