Undefeated Goodgirl Badhabits a Filly To Keep an Eye On

April 30, 2023

Goodgirl Badhabits makes it look easy in an allowance April 29 (Maryland Jockey Club)

G1 Carter Handicap Victor Doppelganger Headed to Met Mile

Jockey Boyce Sweeps Early Sunday Double; Live Racing Returns Thursday

Maryland Jockey Club Press Release

LAUREL, Md.— Already with a slew of good horses and her first Grade 1 winner in the barn, trainer Brittany Russell has another exciting prospect on her hands in Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s undefeated 3-year-old filly Goodgirl Badhabits.

The daughter of Mastery continued to impress her connections with another popular, eye-catching optional claiming allowance victory Saturday at Laurel Park, a front-running 10 ¼-length triumph at odds of 1-5. Despite swerving right at the break, she was quickly in front under jockey Jevian Toledo and soon gone, completing seven furlongs in 1:24.47 over a main track rated good while in hand.

Her win came seven weeks and two days following her impressive debut run at Laurel, where she overcame a bobbled break to power home by 12 ¾ lengths, again in gate-to-wire fashion, in 1:05.39 for 5 ½ furlongs.

“I’m really excited about her. I’ve been excited about her since the first few times I breezed her,” Russell said Sunday. “The day we debuted her, I couldn’t wait to run her. For her to train well in between the maiden run and follow it up again with a convincing effort like she did yesterday, it just solidified everything that we thought about her. There’s never been a day we didn’t love her.”

Goodgirl Badhabits was bred in Kentucky and is a half-sister to Dazzling Gem, who ran third in both the Sir Barton at historic Pimlico Race Course and Louisiana Derby (G2) as a 3-year-old in 2016 and captured the Clasico Jose Celso Barbosa Memorial (G1) in Puerto Rico as a 6-year-old in 2019.

Purchased for $135,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September 2021, Goodgirl Badhabits went unraced at 2 before joining Russell’s Laurel string. She has earned $63,600 in her two starts.

“I didn’t have her in the barn as a 2-year-old,” Russell said. “I think she was ready to come in and then she had a little setback on the farm, so they took care of her and gave her some time. Since she’s been back in, she’s been such a pleasure.”

Though circumstances led to the time between starts being longer than planned, Russell and the connections have no designs to rush into anything with Goodgirl Badhabits as they explore her options going forward.

“I always had the Miss Preakness in the back of my mind. I thought she was that kind. It was just sort of the timing,” Russell said. “I didn’t want to run her back in four weeks when the first allowance came up and they ended up canceling and they brought the race back. We had to sort of wait for this race. She’s a nice filly and she deserves time in between if we’re trying to develop her and move forward into bigger races. It worked out just fine.

“You won’t see her back in three weeks or anything for the Miss Preakness, but there’s a lot of good races coming up. There’s some races in New York we’re going to probably take a look at,” she added. “I think ultimately we want to get her back to the racetrack, make sure she trains as good as she did before the race, and we need to determine if we want to try her a little further or keep her short. That’s another thing we have to decide.”

The $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) for 3-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs May 19 is among 16 stakes, nine graded, worth $3.6 million in purses over Preakness weekend at Pimlico highlighted by the $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles, also May 19, and 148th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, May 20.

Russell indicated there are no immediate plans with her group of 3-year-olds, among them stakes winner Prince of Jericho and Circling the Drain, respectively sixth and seventh in the April 15 Federico Tesio at Laurel; Uncle Jake, 12th in the Wood Memorial (G2) April 8 in just his third start; and Fort Warren, yet to race since joining Russell following a third in the San Vicente (G3) Jan. 29 at Santa Anita.

“Honestly, we’re just trying to regroup with the whole herd at the moment,” she said. “I’ll have an idea here in a couple weeks what we’re going to do.”

Doppelganger captures the G1 Carter at big odds (Joe Labozzetta)

Meanwhile, Russell is planning to bring Doppelganger back to New York, where the 4-year-old colt gave his trainer – and jockey Jevian Toledo – their first Grade 1 win with a 17-1 upset of the April 8 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.

“Dopp’s doing great. We sent him up to Delaware so he didn’t miss any training, and he’s been awesome. He thinks it’s great fun. He’s such a character. He’s like, ‘Hey, what are we doing today? Going to Delaware Park? Cool,’” Russell said. “I think we’re just going to give him the time and take him to the Met Mile. Do it the right way, give him plenty of time and hopefully he’s good on the day.”

The Met Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up will be run June 10 at Belmont Park and is a ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.

Notes: Jockey Forest Boyce swept the early double Sunday with Mungo Magic ($30) in Race 1 and Bella Bettina ($12) in Race 2. The $2 double returned $137 … Trainer Tim Kreiser sent out a pair of winners, Souper Catch ($6) in race 3 and Byk ($8.40) in Race 7. It was the third win from five starts this year and 17th in 53 lifetime races for 9-year-old Souper Catch, a Florida-bred son of champion Bernardini … The 20-cent Rainbow 6 was solved by one lucky bettor Sunday for a $14,641.72 jackpot payout. The winning combination was 4-5-9-3-1-3 … Live racing returns to Laurel Park Thursday, May 4 to kick off closing weekend of the spring meet … Featured on the eight-race program are a 1 1/16-mile allowance for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 3 and up scheduled for the Bowl Game turf course in Race 6 which drew an overflow field of 12, and an optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up sprinting 5 ½ furlongs on the main track in Race 7 … Laurel will have a special 12:10 p.m. post time for its live program on Kentucky Derby (G1) Day, May 6.

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