Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

The Great Groupie Doll Exits Racing a Winner


And they lived happily ever after. That is how a great story should end.


The racing career saga for one of the greatest female sprinters in recent memory, is complete. No need for cliffhangers or melancholy endings here. Groupie Doll closed the final chapter to a superior life as a racehorse in typical Groupie Doll fashion.  

Actually, the result of today’s Hurricane Bertie at Gulfstream Park may have been what all of us in the Doll House had been hoping for and expecting, but this 6 ½ furlong vignette was not without its own little twist. 

Breaking slow out of the starting gate under longtime partner, Rajiv Maragh, Groupie Doll quickly dropped out of the immediate picture. As the other six fillies and mares tried to run as fast as they could, for as long as they could, in hopes of pulling off a monumental upset, Groupie Doll was a little farther behind than usual. Had the fantastic daughter of Bowman’s Band finally lost her desire to dominate her competition?

My pre-race nerves (yes, I’ve been a loyal fan of the Doll since her first career victory on June 17, 2011) therefore remained through the first quarter mile, as the only thing I could do was watch the little chicklet on the computer screen, as it trailed well behind the rest of the colored boxes. Needing that “1” in the red box to get going, it seemed like an eternity for the Hurricane Bertie field to make it to the far turn.

Luckily that eternity was merely self inflicted pain, as the leading group carved out quick fractions, starting with a :22.27 for the first two furlongs. It was good news for the one horse everybody was watching, and so was the sudden movement that the little red chicklet was making.

Reeling them in like Ahab dreamt of landing Moby Dick, Groupie Doll was back in the picture and gaining gobs of ground on the far turn. By the time she swung wide for her final turn for home, the rest of the Hurricane Bertie field felt greatness just to their outside. 

She exploded by, and clear, and just like that it was over.

23 career races, and 12 career wins. Two-times a champion, Groupie Doll pushed her name into racing immortality. She also thrust her way into many of our hearts. I was a few years late to see the great Ta Wee run, but I can tell my grandchildren someday that I was around to see Groupie Doll.
Thank you, Fred and Buff Bradley for bringing us Groupie Doll. And thank you, Mandy Pope for allowing us one final time to say goodbye.

The final time did not matter. It was 1:14.68. The final margin did not matter. It was 7 lengths. What did matter was this marvelous and lovable mare will go out like a champion. 

In running one of the finest races of her career, Groupie Doll runs off into the sunset a racing superstar. Farewell, sweet girl. You will not be soon forgotten.


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Older Comments about The Great Groupie Doll Exits Racing a Winner...

Thanks to her connections for a great career... Took on all comers... A great horse and personal favorite...
Breeding CONTRACT, you know the type that engenders lawsuits if it is not followed up will do it every time
Hard to believe you can retire a horse after a race like that
Agree with both Mike and Floridaf. I keep looking for that big white head to come come streaking through the field.
Mike, when Groupie Doll ran in Mandy's silks in the Cigar Mile, I could not find her in the field. I was looking for her usual white blinkers, not the new pink ones. I learned my lesson for the Hurricane Bertie.
It was strange seeing her in the different silks, but she is certainly one of the great filly sprinters. And the "Reeling them in like Ahab dreamt of landing Moby Dick" is classic.
ive noticed too tvic that when they pop a huge beyer out of nowhere most of the time they BOUNCE next race out. Hopefully Lea doesnt bounce. it would really good for the sport if he runs 114 every time@not evry other few times like Quality Road.
Beyers are based on the ay. If the day is exceptionally fast relative to his par, then all the speed ratings come down. No surprise here.
100 BSF? I'm a little surprised it wasn't higher than that.
100 BSF? I'm a little surprised it wasn't higher than that.
100 BSF for Groupie's last race.
So heartfelt that I'm close to tears. Thank you Mandy Pope for letting us see our favorite sprinter strut her stuff one last time.
That was one of the most amazing finishes you'll ever see at Gulfstream.
That's the way to end a great career, Groupie Doll. Thanks to Mandy Pope for giving us this finale!
Such a complete gem she is. Hope she lives long and prospers.
Now it's off to make babies. Goodbye, Doll.
Nicely said. I think her greatness will continue to grow as the years go by.
Just goes to show how truly great Ta Wee was. If you thought Groupie Doll had a great Career. Congrats on her win, and good luck as a broodmare.
groupie doll cost me big at charles town a couple years ago..she was virtually unbeatable since that race..but thats horse racing

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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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