Clapton Pulls Off 21-1 Upset in G3 Ghostzapper
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Arindel’s Clapton pulled off a 21-1 upset victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Ghostzapper (G3) at Gulfstream Park under an aggressive ride by Emisael Jaramillo.
The Ghostzapper, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for older horses on the main track, was one of 10 stakes worth a total of $2.35 million in purses on Saturday’s 14-race card headlined by the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa.
Clapton ($44.40) was rated off the pace set by Surly Furious into the backstretch before Jaramillo went on the offensive with a three-wide drive to pull alongside the pacesetter and stalker O’Connor on the turn into the homestretch. Clapton battled O’Connor through the stretch before edging clear to score
Clapton, a 5-year-old homebred son of Brethren, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.94, a final time built on fractions of 24.38 and 48.79 seconds. O’Connor, making his first start since finishing off the board in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 28, held second easily over a tiring Surly Furious.
Winning Racing Manager for Arindel Brian Cohen (Clapton): “I’m just so happy for the horse and everyone that works with the horse. He just ran such a good race. He’s been running against such tough horses all winter, and he ran a big one.”
“[Brethren] has given us everything. He’s given us runners – long, short, turf. [They’re all] just runners. They want to run. He’s been great. Clapton, race after race, he just tries his hardest.”
Winning jockey Emisael Jaramillo: “A graded-stakes win for Arindel, connections that thank God have supported me for a long time; I love this horse, I went to the barn several times to request the chance with him again, a horse that I have ridden since he was a baby, since he was a 2-year-old, so I had a lot of faith in him; the homestretch was a mano-a-mano with Irad [Ortiz Jr. on O’Connor], the type of race and show fans come to watch. He's a great jockey, a great person and a great friend, and he shook hands and congratulated me after the race."