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Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile - Hear The Ghost

Hear the Ghost beats Flashback in the 2013 San Felipe.
Photo: Benoit Photo
This 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 A MINISTER. 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.

HEAR 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 Jerry 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) race record.

There's no doubt that the connections of Hear the Ghost have Kentucky Derby dreams. But are these dreams solid or just a mirage?

Hear 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.

Ghostzapper 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 Polytrack.

GHOSTZAPPER (Awesome Again - Baby Zip, by Relaunch)
Hear The Ghost sire GhostzapperRace Record: 11-9-0-1 ($3,446,120)

Career Highlights:
1st - Breeders' Cup Classic (G-1) 1 ¼ miles
1st - Woodward Stakes (G-1) 1 1/8 miles
1st - Met Mile (G-1)
1st - Vosburgh Stakes (G-1) 6 ½ furlongs
1st - Tom Fool Handicap (G-2) 1 1/8 miles
1st - Philip H. Iselin Handicap (G-3) 1 1/8 miles
3rd - King's Bishop Stakes (G-1) 7 furlongs

Female Family:
The 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.

Rehear 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.

Hear 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).
Hear The Ghost Pedigree

Coronado's 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.

Coronado's 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.

Hear 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.

Ghostzapper 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 blacktype earnings.

CORONADO'S QUEST (Forty Niner - Laughing Look, by Damascus)
Hear The Ghost damsire Coronado's QuestRace record: 17-10-2-0 ($2,046,190)

Career Highlights:
1st - Travers Stakes (G-1) 1 ¼ miles
1st - Haskell Invitational (G-1) 1 1/8 miles
1st – Wood Memorial (G-2) 1 1/8 miles
1st – Remsen Stakes (G-2) 1 1/8 miles
1st - Dwyer Stakes (G-2) 1 1/6 miles
1st - Riva Ridge Stakes (G-2) 7F
1st – Cowden Stakes (G-2) 6 ½ F
1st - Nashua Stakes (G-3) 1 mile

Hear The Ghost ConformationHear 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.


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Older Comments about Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile - Hear The Ghost...

He broke fast enough to be anything he wanted.
Bodemeister was a presser not an early
no es mal pedigree..pero si de pedigree se tratara..mejor el de oxbow.. depende de tantpos otros factores.. trainer is very very impoortant.."all work" whit head....
Historically (If you don't believe me, watch previous derbies), the derby has a fast pace. Usually 22 4/5- 23 2/5. Historically, horses with EARLY energy distribution don't do well. That is what makes Bodemeister's placing last year was so special. The derby is always set up for sustained pressers or stalkers. Often closers will hit traffic, will be forced wide, or b/c of the pace, drop far behind the pace. The derby always favors sustained pressers, stalkers. Look back, shall we? I'll Have Another 2012. Animal Kingdom 2011 (mid pack). Super Saver? (don't remember). Big Brown 2008. Barbaro 2006. Smarty Jones 2004. Etc. This is a key way to handicap the derby, imo. I hit Smarty Jones, Barbaro, and Super Saver in the past ten years. I'm no hotshot handicapper in the derby (3 out of the last 10) however, utilizing this angle in the derby is key to $$$$$$$.
"like" on your comment, gq.
I love this guy, but his biggest hurdle will be overocming the "gelding" tag in the Derby, even thuogh Funny Cide and MTB outran it. As long as he gets pace to run at (thank you Veraazano, Shanghai Bobby, Suppre Ninety Nine, and more), he's a threat.
It would be great if the TC winner is a gelding as we'll actually get to see him race for awhile. It seem's that the old saying about not having any Bsss is now reversed in horse racing, that's ironic, amusing, and hopefully a bit shameful for the owners of the breeding industry who forgot about the horse racing industry on the way to the bank. For myself it's really ironic in that Secretariat who I consider the best led the run for the gold. Sure circumstances were involved, but they always are.
It would be very ironic if the next TC winner is a gelding.
I like the Ghost's pedigree. I have always been fond of Ghostzapper. And on the dam side, you have in the pedigree Laughter who is a half sister to Ruffian. I remember Desert Trial the dam of VA very well as a race horse. Insilica is an unraced daughter of Buckpasser and Copper Canyon who was a nice race mare who went against Syrian Sea etc . I like his pedigree and think he has a real shot at the Derby. And because he is a gelding, we will be seeing him for awhile on the track.
Nice to see this mare finally get to a better stallion. Coronado's Quest on the dam's side led to the gelding? Thanks
Ghost is the most.....

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Meet Laurie Ross


I've been around horses for most of my life, working in racing stables as a hot walker and exercise rider in my teenage years, and later as a volunteer with rescued and retired racehorses. I became interested in pedigree when the sons and daughters of my favorite horses started their racing careers.   


For more than a decade, I've passionately studied pedigree, how it applies to handicapping and breeding theories. In 2010, I joined Horse Racing Nation as their Pedigree Analyst, focusing on juvenile stakes winners, Triple Crown contenders and first crop sires from a handicapping perspective.   


In 2011, I accepted the role of South Florida Coordinator and Advisory Board Member for the national non-profit Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association (ThoroFan). Working closely with Gulfstream Park management and other race fans, we created a ThoroFan Chapter at Gulfstream Race Track. Our main project is assisting Thoroughbred rescue and re-training groups.


I continue to maintain my website Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds and blog of the same name. As a pedigree consultant, I specialize in assisting small to mid-size breeding/training operations with broodmare breeding reports, sales catalog analysis and recommendations on claims and private sales. 10 - 20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue and retraining groups.
I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic please contact me at

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