09/18/2016 7:03PM

Horse-for-course Ghost Hunter captures Presque Isle Mile

Coady Photography
Ghost Hunter, ridden by Antonio Gallardo, is now 7 for 8 locally after his 1 1/2-length victory in the $200,000 Presque Isle Mile.

Ghost Hunter is based at Delaware Park with trainer Jamie Ness, but the 6-year-old gelding does his best running on the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs.

Riding a four-race winning streak coming into Sunday night’s $200,000 Presque Isle Mile, Ghost Hunter ($5.80)  emerged from a pack of tightly bunched horses inside the eighth pole and drew clear late to win his first career stakes by 1 1/2 lengths.

It was his seventh win in eight lifetime starts at Presque Isle. His only loss came when he was a troubled fifth in last year’s Mile.

“Last year I got in a lot of trouble. I had no room to go,” said jockey Antonio Gallardo, who has been aboard for three of Ghost Hunter’s five wins during his current streak. “Today I’m in the clear. It was a perfect trip.

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“I love this horse,” Gallardo added. “I’ve won nine or 10 races with him.”

Ghost Hunter, a son of Ghostzapper owned by Jagger Inc., is now 15 for 40 lifetime with earnings of $496,270.

The 3-year-old Tale of the Nile, winner of three straight since taking his maiden in late June, finished second by a nose at 32-1 to complete a $2 exacta that paid $226. Choctaw Chuck, the pacesetter, was third, but was disqualified to fourth for interfering with Great Minds during the stretch run. Great Minds, a Grade 3 winner on dirt this season, was elevated to third.

Tulsa Queen upsets Mrs. Henry Paxson Memorial

Tulsa Queen, the longest shot among five Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old fillies and last after the opening half-mile, surged into contention, split horses, and drew off to a 5 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 Mrs. Henry Paxson Memorial Stakes.

Ridden for the first time by David Delgado, Tulsa Queen ($29.40) was still a maiden after three outings. A daughter of Cactus Ridge trained by Ryan Walsh for owner Anne Walsh, Tulsa Queen ran six furlongs in 1:10.89.

“She ran like we always thought she could,” Walsh said.

Spanker, the 9-5 second choice, finished second, two lengths in front of Diamond Dollar, the 4-5 favorite.