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Phantom Ro Runs Away to Victory in Dr. Fager

Aug 5, 2017
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Phantom Ro, the first homebred from Rajendra Maharajh’s Raroma Stable, drove away from favored Dunk entering the stretch to win the $100,000 Dr. Fager Division of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

One of three 2-year-old colts saddled by leading trainer Ralph Nicks along with Soutache and Kingston Pike, Phantom Ro covered the six furlongs in 1:10.60.

The Dr. Fager and Desert Vixen for 2-year-old fillies, won by Go Astray, marked the first of three legs in the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes. Total handle on Gulfstream’s first Sire Stakes program was $8.2 million, an increase of 6 percent over last year.

Phantom Ro, who broke his maiden at first asking July 8 by 2 ¼ lengths, broke alertly under jockey Edgard Zayas leaving the gate. Despite being pushed through an opening quarter in :22.30 by Majestic Secret and a half in :45 by Dunk, Phantom Ro had plenty left down the stretch to remain undefeated in two starts, beating Dunk by 2 ¾ lengths. GoldMark Farm’s Soutache checked in third.

“The plan going into the race wasn’t going to the lead,” Zayas said. “We thought the horse on the rail, Kingston Pike, would go to the lead. The plan was to stalk the pace right behind him, but he broke very sharp. I had horses inside me and outside me, so I was in a tight spot to take back. So I had to go with him and try to relax him. When I asked him, he responded really good.”

Phantom Ro, a son of Wildcat Heir, is out of the mare Phantom Girl, who raced twice at Woodbine finishing third in her debut and winning a maiden special weight in 2012.

Like Zayas, Nicks expected Kingston Pike to go to the front.

“I thought [Kingston Pike] would show the pace but he got behind a half step and never showed his normal speed,” Nicks said. “[Phantom Ro] the first time he ran I expected to be on the lead and he was following. They’re babies. They do things different. I was happy with the effort on him and Soutache, a little disappointed in Kingston Pike. [Phantom Ro] showed a lot of guts.”

Nicks said all three would likely be pointed toward the second leg of the Sire Stakes Sept. 2.

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