Content to stalk the early pace set by Teddy’s Promise and Dust and Diamonds, Groupie Doll then began picking off rivals entering the final turn. As the field kicked clear of the turn and entered the stretch, Groupie Doll gained command of the lead and it was not matter of who would win but by how much she would win by. The Bowman’s Band filly drew off to win by 4 ½ lengths to beat a game Dust and Diamonds. Switch, who had finished second in this race for the last two years, managed to get up for the show.
Not only was the William Bradley owned and trained filly’s performance visually impressive, it was also impressive in terms of time. Her final time of 1.20:72 was just a little more than a second slower than the track record set by Twirling Candy (1.19:70) on December 26, 2010. It was also the second fastest time for the F&M Sprint at the 7 furlong distance since the race was inaugurated in 2007.
Yesterday’s win verified Groupie Doll’s dominance over the Female Sprint division. In eight starts this year, her records is 5-1-2, with all five of her wins coming consecutively and in Grade 1 or 2 races. She has beaten everyone from Musical Romance to Switch to Emma’s Encore, along with several other graded stakes winners. Her five wins came at four different tracks and at three different distances. Clearly she is the best of division.
Her losses cannot be counted against her. She finished second to Boys At Tosconova at a mile against male rivals, third behind Awesome Maria and Royal Delta going a mile and a sixteenth, and third behind defending Female Sprint champion Musical Romance at 7 furlongs. What do all 3 of those losses have in common? They all occurred at Gulfstream Park where she is 1 for 4.
With the year winding down, Groupie Doll is the obvious choice for the Eclipse Award for Champion Female Sprinter. What I am about to say next, though, will likely earn me a virtual stoning. I also believe that Groupie Doll should be considered for Champion Older Female AND Horse of the Year. Now, before yall start throwing virtual stones at me, hear me out. Groupie Doll is one of only a handful of horses to notch three Grade 1 wins this year; others that achieved that feat include Little Mike, Point of Entry, Wise Dan, and I’ll Have Another. She has beaten the best her division had to offer and finished a respectable third behind two great mares at a distance she did not like. Because she is a sprinter, she is not likely to win either of those other two categories, but that does not mean that she should not be considered for them. After the stellar year she has had, she deserves the accolades.