07/06/2004 12:00AM

Ghostzapper sets off fireworks in Tom Fool


ELMONT, N.Y. - Making his first start since winning the Grade 1 Vosburgh on Sept. 27, Ghostzapper romped to a 4 1/4-length victory over Aggadan in the Grade 2, $250,000 Tom Fool Handicap before a Fourth of July crowd of 11,261 at Belmont Park.

Ghostzapper's final time of 1:20.42 for seven furlongs was only 0.25 second off the track and stakes record of 1:20.17 set by Left Bank in the 2002 Tom Fool. Ghostzapper returned $4.60 as the favorite.

Ghostzapper earned a career-best 120 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.

"He's a very good horse," said Bobby Frankel, who trains Ghostzapper for owner-breeder Frank Stronach. "I'm not surprised, not in the least."

In winning last year's Vosburgh - also over Aggadan - Ghostzapper rallied from 13 lengths back after the first quarter-mile. Sunday, Ghostzapper was never more than three lengths off the pace before taking command turning for home under Javier Castellano. Ghostzapper, a son of Awesome Again, improved his career record to 5 for 7.

Unforgettable Max, who set the early pace, finished third, while Lion Tamer backed up to last after putting a head in front at the three-eighths pole. Eye of the Tiger scratched after developing a case of colic Sunday morning.

Frankel, who won the Tom Fool last year with Aldebaran, said Ghostzapper would be pointed to the $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga on Aug. 14 as a prep for the Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 4, also at Saratoga. Frankel said he is inclined to try and stretch out Ghostzapper here in the fall.

"With the speed he showed [Sunday], going long you might be able to sit there with him and turn him loose in the stretch," Frankel said. "Everybody wants to pigeonhole him as a sprinter; we don't know. He's an easy horse to rate."