Fearless Stretches Out for G3 Ghostzapper Win
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Repole Stable’s Fearless, a multiple grade stakes-winning son of Ghostzapper, lived up to his 1-5 favoritism at Gulfstream Park with a six-length romp in the $100,000 Ghostzapper (G3), one of 10 stakes worth $2.2 million in purses on Saturday’s 14-race card that was headlined by the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa.
Fearless, who finished second in the Fred W. Hooper (G3) and GP Mile (G2) going around one-turn, appreciated the stretch-out to 1 1/8 miles. The Todd Pletcher-trained 6-year-old gelding pushed his career record at Gulfstream to five wins to go along with three runner-up finishes in eight starts
Fearless stalked the pace around the first turn and along the backstretch as Carlos L. put up fractions of 24.24 and 48:08 seconds for the first half mile. Jockey Luis Saez sent his hard-knocking mount after the tiring pacesetter on the turn into the homestretch, and the Kentucky-bred gelding drew clear.
Capocostello closed late to nip 2021 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth winner Greatest Honour by a nose for second money. Fearless ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.03.
Winning Trainer Todd Pletcher (Fearless): “When he’s in good form, he generally puts himself in a good spot. I thought when he broke well and he went to the first turn, it looked like [Carlos L.] was getting a little rank and [jockey] Luis [Saez] kind of let him go. Then, he was in a good stalking spot with an honest enough pace up front and he just kind of kept building up momentum as he went along.”
“It’s not so much about the tactics of it. He kind of tailed off last year and he was getting himself way too far out of the race. I knew when he broke well and he was putting himself in a good spot, it was more about that because that was some of the trouble we were having before we gave him a little bit of a break. He just wanted to give himself way too much to do early on.”
“We’ll figure it out. There’s a lot of opportunities with a horse that you can kind of space around a little bit. Maybe the Pimlico Special [G3 May 20] might be good timing.”
Winning Jockey Luis Saez (Fearless): “We felt like we were controlling the pace. We came to the three-eighths, somebody put pressure on us. But he kicked on again. At the top of the stretch, he was all by himself. The way he finished, he finished pretty strong, pretty comfortable. I had a lot of horse left.