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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

From the Eighth Pole to the Wire - 2/10/14

Groupie Doll away 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Liz Lamont


Groupie Doll bids farewell in high style


What can you say about Groupie Doll? She may have lost some races in her career, but she was always able to bounce back and demonstrate her extreme class, and that’s precisely what she did in her career finale. I cannot think of a better way to say goodbye to racing than her last-to-first move, followed by a waltz down the Gulfstream Park lane. It gave all her fans the ideal last chance to celebrate in both her ability and her career. Personally, my goosebumps began about midway on the far turn, and peaked around the sixteenth pole. The Hurricane Bertie performance was so impressive, in fact, that I’m sure that I’m not the only one who wondered if new owner Mandy Pope would not give the OK to one more start. Probably not, this was the way a champion should go out.

Lea: Dirt Monster 


It’s happened before and it may happen again. Lea wouldn’t be the first turf horse to transition into a major winner on dirt. The most notable, of course, being the great Cigar, and just like Lea, he was also moved into Bill Mott’s barn well into his career. Lea has done absolutely everything right into his two starts this winter at Gulfstream Park. Clearly for real, it will be interesting to see if Mott is willing to stretch him out to ten furlongs, with the Breeders’ Cup Classic ultimately in mind. For now, I fully expect this track record breaking Donn Handicap winner to continue his excellent form in middle distance races on the dirt.

Candy Boy can do


Kentucky Derby mania … catch it! So, I spent countless hours last week on watching every replay I could find of every horse even remotely thought of as a 2014 Kentucky Derby contender. Guess what I found? Well, I wrote about it here, but in summary: Candy Boy was the one horse who impressed me more than any other. I liked what I saw in his physicality, his wind, and his push button acceleration. In short, he was the one three-year-old that I had not previously loved as a possible Kentucky Derby winner, that I now did. All that enjoyable work paid off in the short term, when on Saturday, Candy Boy looked like a real pro in his second run under Gary Stevens, powering by Chitu and Midnight Hawk to win the Robert B. Lewis. Look to see just how much I like him tomorrow when my brand new Down and Derby Sweet 16 comes out.

No shame for Will Take Charge


It may show up as a loss on his career record, but if I were the connections of the reigning three-year-old champ, I would be tickled to death with the way he kicked-off his four-year-old season. For many reasons, I thought him to be vulnerable in the Donn. It turns out he was, but he almost still won. As D.Wayne said after the race, it took a track record to beat him. I would also point to the speed favoring surface of the sealed Gulfstream Park main track, and a little traffic the big horse encountered along the way. The winner deserves credit for a  bang-up race, but for Will Take Charge, the Donn marked his sixth consecutive excellent performance. All in all, I would say the older horse career of Will Take Charge is right on track.

Down goes The Dude!


It wasn’t quite the sudden thud of Frazier vs. Foreman circa 1973, but Game On Dude’s 5th place performance in Saturday’s San Antonio was met with a resounding flurry of negative comments throughout the online horse racing community. Gimme a break. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought Game On Dude was some claiming horse the way people are talking, rather than a winner of 15-of-30 lifetime and $5.7 million. One disappointing race in a row does not mean that he is done, a bum, or should be retired immediately. I wonder if the people that say things like that ever have a bad day themselves?

Big thinking is unique in racing 


Speaking of things that make me frown, I was a little surprised to see the consensus thumbs down over NYRA’s decision to create a gigantic race card on Belmont Stakes Day. Sure there are reasons why you will miss the Met Mile on Memorial Day, or why you think ten stakes in one day is overkill. I look at it another way. A mid-season Super Bowl of racing held in New York sounds pretty good to me. I think it has the potential to create a stir, and attract new fans. Big thinking like this, and the cojones to follow through on it, is so lacking in horse racing that it makes my head hurt. The alternative is to keep things the way they are now, and practice and repeat the “Woe is me” mantra. No thanks … Good for NYRA!

Longshots come through at Gulfstream 


The toteboard was lit up in graded stakes this weekend at Gulfstream Park. First a 1,600 plus dollar exacta of 14-1 Falling Sky and 139-1 Narvaez came rolling home in the Gulfstream Park Sprint on Saturday, and then 39-1 shot, Lochte put a charge into a national television audience in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. And you know what? These bombs were gettable to anyone truly paying attention. *wink-wink* 


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Older Comments about From the Eighth Pole to the Wire - 2/10/14...

Benji, and Sully. You two have given me a good laugh. Just getting schooled and don't know when to quit. Maybe if you two read what TV, and Laz are writing you would understand, and also realize they are giving you facts. Did Groupie Doll ever carry the weight of a car on her back? and beat males?...no. End of story.
the greats of old with the benfit of fast tracks, aluminum shoes, better nutrition and vet care, wow it boggles the mind the times they could have put up.
That would be similar to calling Danedream the greatest Arc winner ever just because she ran the fastest time. There are many other factors to evaluate along with the time of the race. Danedream would fall well short in comparison with many "slower" Arc winners.
Just like swimming pools of today are half the reason world's records are broken all the time.
Whenever I see the word Old Timer I see red. I like to put it into perspective and state that old-timers have seen more and aren’t necessarily trying to protect the past. I might be an old-timer but I’m also a f*cking realist. I guess because horses run on something close to cement today, which helps them run really fast, that makes them all better than past horses that beat the best horses in their generations, but never ran as fast. Amusing. Here’s some facts: if Groupie Doll was so great then why didn’t she enter the BC Sprint against males? The fact is, she never defeated males. Very Subtle defeated the fastest sprinter in her generation in Groovy in the BC Sprint in 1.08 4/5 by 4 lengths. Earlier that year Groovy won the True North in 1.07 4/5, in the mud. Pine Tree Lane won 19 races, defeated males in the G1 Carter and G2 Bold Ruler, won a 6F stakes in 1.08 4/5, and she is demeaned as if she wasn’t much? Give me a freaking break……please. Groupie Doll never broke 1.09 for 6F. She runs really fast 7F races, but where, at Santa Anita and a souped up Churchill on Derby day. And yet she was so fast she couldn’t win the Cigar in a 1.35 2/5 mile. Soviet Problem won four of five stakes against males and lost the fifth by a head in the BC Sprint. She didn’t run lights out 7F on a cement track, she just defeated really tough horses. I’m not trying to demean Groupie Doll but I’m not going to demean the honest efforts of others at her expense.
in Texas, tmallios? The blog cops? lol
the police, IF there are any, have favorites immune from reprisals
10 minutes? Took you 24 days, benji, and I figure that is about your average refractory period, and yes, I mean THAT.
Where are the Mall Cops/I mean the HRN sellf appointed site police. If i said what Benji said about someone else,all hell would of broken loose. From Bully to all kinds of names.Glad to see equal opportunity still exists here.
Thanks, benji. Come help w/the housework while I go get a life. Ha,ha, you gave me a laugh for the day, and bitch, my posts were consecutive. Not sure why they are separate, and I'm still laughing at you.
Mary Z, Get a freaking life. The mere fact that it only took you 10 minutes to respond to a post that didn't even involve you tells me all I need to know about your sad, wasted days. Spent bird-dogging racing bloggs. Don't feel bad because you're not the only loser that does this but it is sad and pathetic.
I don't know, maybe I'm one of the only ones seeing the points being made and also links provided on many occasions by tv. If not for opposing, intelligent posts, we'd be reading pretty pony comments(I post enough of those myself) or "Darn, I lost again" ones, to which most can relate.
post after post without a single reference for substantiation....Did you all miss that in school??
I am in the MINORITY here in being factual.....It is the majority here who are living a dream world of inside information, jocks being that important and genetics being exact enogu to predict a winner....You are the nutty one my friend
I'm going to play this two ways, benji. sully doesn't need your f'd up "advice". Good to know that you are an expert on idiots though, so I won't argue with you.
Sully, You can't win an argument against Travel Vic. Even when you use facts to prove your points. His way of thinking is archaic and of no use to anyone, including himself. And like you said- He can't even stay on point and answer the question..... There's an old saying "never argue with an idiot because he will bring you down to his level and beat you with experience."
card is pitiful at Aqueduct today. How can your find an overlay in 5 betting intetests?
we had a old swayback still running at 10 who held part of the 6 furlong track record
Oops wrong thread
Conformation does not dictate the horse's career.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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