Photo: Benoit Photo
year's edition of the San
Felipe Stakes (G-2)
was touted as a match-race between the undefeated Robert B. Lewis
Stakes winner FLASHBACK
and Sham Stakes hero GOLDENCENTS.
Well, fans got their match race, The bay and the gray hooked up at
the ½ mile pole and raced shoulder to shoulder through the stretch,
distancing themselves from the rest of the pack. Showing their class
in deep stretch, the two leg-weary rivals were still
fighting, neither wanting to give an inch to the other. But wait,
swooping down the middle of the track were Hear The Ghost and TIZ
Hear the Ghost was the faster of the two, reaching the wire a ½
length in front of the game Flashback. Tiz A Minister just missed
catching the gray colt by ½ length. Goldencents finished a brave
fourth, another 1 ¼ lengths behind. It was over five lengths back to
the rest of the field. Hear The Ghost's final time of 1:42.34
compares to 2010 winner Sidney's Candy (1:42.30), 2008 winner Georgie
Boy (1:42.35) and 1954 San Felipe hero Determine (1:42.40) who won
that year's Kentucky Derby. Hear the Ghost earned 50 points on the
Kentucky Derby trail.
THE GHOST (Ghostzapper
- Rehear, by Coronado's Quest) was a bargain $40K purchase at the 2011
Keeneland September yearling sale. He is owned by Halo Farms and
Hollendorfer, who also his trainer. The Chestnut gelding won his
six furlong debut over Hollywood's Cushion Track in December. A
month later, Hear The Ghost made up four lengths in the stretch of
the San Pedro Stakes to finish second, beaten only 1 ½ lengths by
the swift Distinctiv Passion. Hear The Ghost has a 3-2-1 ($222,400)
no doubt that the connections of Hear the Ghost have Kentucky Derby
dreams. But are these dreams solid or just a mirage?
The Ghost's sire Horse of the Year Ghostzapper is one of the top 20
stallions standing in the US in terms of money won and stakes
winners. The son of Breeders' Cup Classic hero Awesome Again traces
back to Northern Dancer through Deputy Minister. Ghostzapper finished
out of the money only twice in an illustrious career that spanned
four years. The large bay won from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 ¼ miles.
had a slow start at stud, which is typical for a stallion's whose
offspring are expected to mature late and be best past a mile. In
2009, he was in the bottom half of the top 20 stallions with two
winners from just eight starters. Ghostzapper's babies hit their
stride the following two years, earning their sire fourth place on
the Second Crop stallion list and third place on the Third Crop list.
Ghostzapper's offspring win at sprint distances to 1 ½ miles. His
babies are proficient over all surfaces, especially mud and
Record: 11-9-0-1 ($3,446,120)
- Breeders' Cup Classic (G-1) 1 ¼ miles
- Woodward Stakes (G-1) 1 1/8 miles
- Met Mile (G-1)
- Vosburgh Stakes (G-1) 6 ½ furlongs
- Tom Fool Handicap (G-2) 1 1/8 miles
- Philip H. Iselin Handicap (G-3) 1 1/8 miles
- King's Bishop Stakes (G-1) 7 furlongs
female family of Hear The Ghost is scattered with stakes winners,
although his first through third dams don't own any blacktype
themselves. His dam Rehear (Coronado's Quest - Chief Appeal, by Valid
Appeal) visited the winner's circle only once in her six race career,
but proved her worth as a broodmare. Her first foal Mani Bhavan was
extremely fast and precocious. The daughter of Storm Boot won her
first three races, including the Adirondack (G-2) and Spinaway (G-1)
by over 18 lengths, but she was unplaced in three subsequent starts.
Datt Echo (by Stormy Atlantic), Rehear's second daughter, placed in
two stakes races in her 17 race career. Rehear's next two foals were
colts, Settle for Medal (by Medallist) and Legal Power (by Posse) are
both winners, but don't own blacktype. Hear the Ghost has a two
year old half sister by Candy Ride , a yearling Tapit half brother
and Rehear is set to deliver a War Front baby this year.
is a half sister to the multiple stakes winner Turkappeal (by
Turkoman). She won at 1 1/6 miles and placed at 1 3/16 miles.
Turkappeal produced two stakes winners. A half sister, Unbridled
Appeal (by Unbridled's Song) delivered two stakes placed runners.
The third generation of Hear The Ghost's distaff line produced
Champion Sprinter and sire Speightstown, Indiana Derby hero and sire
Star Dabbler and El Cajon Stakes winner and sire Cindago.
The Ghost is a descendant of the Lowe Female Family 9-b. This family
hasn't produced a Kentucky Derby winner, but did give us 1950
Preakness winner Hill Prince (by Princequillo) and 1890 Belmont
Stakes winner Burlington (by Powhattan).
Quest, the damsire of Hear The Ghost, was an unruly but talented
juvenile. He reeled off victories in the Cowdin, Nashua and Remsen
Stakes at two. At three, he placed in the Hutcheson and Fountain of
Youth Stakes, but was unplaced in the Florida Derby. After the race
it was found that Coronado's Quest suffered from an entrapped
epiglottis. After surgery, the son of Campion Juvenile Forty Niner
scored five straight victories. Like his sire, Coronado's Quest won
the Haskell Invitational and Travers Stakes. He spent only three
years at stud in the US before being exported to Japan.
Quest is the damsire of 16 stakes winners. Including Champion
Sprinter Kodiak Kowboy (by Posse) Hopeful Stakes winner Boys at
Tosconova (by Officer) and Fountain of Youth hero Soldat (by War
Front). Only one of the stakes winners, Jupiner Pass (by Lemon Drop
Kid) has been successful at 1 ¼ miles.
The Ghost's second damsire Valid Appeal (by In Reality) won the Dwyer
Stakes at 1 1/8 miles, but he left his mark as a sire of sires who
transformed Florida racing. His sons include leading freshman sire
Valid Expectations, Valid Wager, Mister Jolie, Kipper Kelly, and
Seacliff. Although known mostly as a speed influence, Valid Appeal
is the damsire of Personal Ensign (G-1) heroine Ask The Moon (by
Malibu Moon) and two listed winners at 1 ¼ miles.
has sired four foals out of Coronado's Quest mares. All four have
raced and won, and one is a stakes winner. Oddly enough, Ghostzapper
has no foals out of Forty Niner mares nor does his sire Awesome Again
have any foals from Coronado's Quest mares. Awesome Again did sire
three foals from Forty Niner mares, only one started and won, with no
record: 17-10-2-0 ($2,046,190)
- Travers Stakes (G-1) 1 ¼ miles
- Haskell Invitational (G-1) 1 1/8 miles
– Wood Memorial (G-2) 1 1/8 miles
– Remsen Stakes (G-2) 1 1/8 miles
- Dwyer Stakes (G-2) 1 1/6 miles
- Riva Ridge Stakes (G-2) 7F
– Cowden Stakes (G-2) 6 ½ F
- Nashua Stakes (G-3) 1 mile
The Ghost appears to be an average-sized, but lightly muscled gelding
with the body of a route runner. The Chestnut has a long-striding,
fluid gait without excessive leg action. He may fill out with age.
Hear The Ghost' distaff pedigree has more speed than stamina up
close, but there are classic influences in his fourth generation. He
should handle 1 1/8 and his pedigree is borderline for 1 ¼ miles.
Hear The Ghosts' jockey Corey
Nakatani has ridden in the Kentucky Derby 15 times, but has never
won. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is the king of North California
racing. He hasn't trained a Derby winner, but he is noted for
campaigning the top mares Blind Luck and Hysterical Lady. He also
conditioned Heatseeker to a victory in the Santa Anita Handicap.
Hear The Ghost will target the Santa Anita Derby in his next start.
The gelding has won at age two and is showing the late-development
one likes to see in a Classic contender. Perhaps he can follow in the
hoofprints of Funny Cide and Mine That Bird, two recent geldings who
won the Kentucky Derby.