Updated on 09/17/2011 5:52PM

No one can catch Ghostzapper

Ghostzapper, under Javier Castellano, locks up Horse of the Year honors with a decisive three-length victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic. His time of 1:59.02 is a stakes record.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - On Halloween eve, who ya gonna call?


In an explosive performance that left no doubt as to the Horse of the Year, Ghostzapper romped to a three-length victory against an outstanding field in the $4 million on Saturday at Lone Star Park.

Roses in May finished second, with Pleasantly Perfect, the defending race champion, another four lengths back in third.

Ghostzapper ($7) entered the race unbeaten in three starts this year, including the Woodward at Belmont Park. But he had never raced beyond 1 1/8 miles, let alone at the Classic's distance of 1 1/4 miles. Before a crowd of 53,717, he handled it with aplomb. Ghostzapper completed the distance in a stakes-record 1:59.02 on the fast main track.

"It's not that I did such a great job. He's a great horse," said his trainer, Bobby Frankel.

The victory was a rapturous prize for Frankel, whose inglorious Breeders' Cup record is well documented. Frankel entered the day with just 2 wins from 57 starts, then watched his first five Breeders' Cup starters on Saturday all lose. Frankel said he thought Ghostzapper was a winner turning into the stretch, but had a bit of apprehension.

"My Breeders' Cup record is not that great," he said. "If it was a normal day, I'd have been very, very confident."

Ghostzapper has now won major races ranging from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/4 miles. Last year, he won the Vosburgh at Belmont.

"He's the best horse I ever trained," Frankel said. "He's a unique horse in that he can sprint, you can drop him back 15 lengths and win, and you can lay up on the pace and win. I don't think that there's any doubt that he's the best horse in the country now - by far."

This Classic was considered the best ever, eclipsing the stellar field that assembled at Churchill Downs in 1998. That race was won by Awesome Again. In a case of sweet symmetry, Ghostzapper is a son of Awesome Again, and is certainly his best.

Both Awesome Again and his son Ghostzapper were bred and are owned by Frank Stronach, whose Magna Entertainment owns Lone Star. Because Ghostzapper has raced just 10 times, Stronach said of the lightly raced 4-year-old colt, "As far as I'm concerned, he will run next year."

Ghostzapper broke sharply from his inside post, but then jockey Javier Castellano eased him off the rail. He had been instructed to do so by Frankel, who believed the rail was not the best part of the track.

Azeri, who had broken poorly, came through along the inside to vie for the lead heading into the first turn. Ghostzapper had his head in front, with Roses in May just to his outside in second, and Azeri third. The field was well bunched because of the moderate fractions of 23.42 seconds for a quarter, 47.11 seconds for a half-mile, and 1:11.32 for six furlongs.

As the field moved around the final turn, Azeri dropped away, and Ghostzapper and Roses in May turned it into a sprint for home. They roared through the fourth quarter-mile of the race in 24.06 seconds.

And then, in a dazzling turn of foot usually seen only on the turf, Ghostzapper hit another gear and left Roses in May in his dust. He completed his final quarter-mile in 23.64 seconds, with Castellano gearing him down nearing the wire. It was one of the most visually impressive performances in the Breeders' Cup's 21-year history.

Roses in May, like Ghostzapper, was unbeaten this year. He had won all five of his starts, including the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga. He ran well, but was simply second best on the day.

"The winner ran a humongous race today," said John Velazquez, who rode Roses in May. "You've got to give him all the credit."

Pleasantly Perfect was trying to join Tiznow as the only horse to win the Classic twice, but he never had decent position. He was in 10th place early behind a moderate pace and never could save ground after breaking from post 12.

"They backed it up early and made it difficult on him," said Richard Mandella, who trains Pleasantly Perfect. "I thought the field would spread out a little more and he'd get better position."

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch