03/06/2013 4:12PM

San Felipe Stakes: Hear the Ghost could make noise at Santa Anita in two-turn debut

Shigeki Kikkawa
Hear the Ghost has made both of his starts at six furlongs but will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles for the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – In his first start around two turns, Hear the Ghost may be a late threat to 3-year-old stars Flashback and Goldencents in Saturday’s $300,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Hear the Ghost has started twice at six furlongs, winning his debut in a 16-1 upset against maidens at Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 15 and running a game second in the San Pedro Stakes here Jan. 21.

The Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles puts Hear the Ghost in a different league, against two of the toughest 3-year-olds in Southern California. The gelding is ready for the test, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Wednesday.

“We’re looking forward to stretching him out,” Hollendorfer said. “We think he’ll do that. We’ve worked him seven-eighths twice, and he looked good last time.”

Hear the Ghost, the mount of Corey Nakatani, drew post 5 Wednesday in a field of eight for the San Felipe, a major prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6. Flashback, unbeaten in two starts and the winner of the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes over 1 1/16 miles Feb. 2, will be favored and drew post 2. Goldencents, the winner of the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on Jan. 5, will start from post 3 as the second choice in the betting.

Hear the Ghost races for Hollendorfer and Ted Aroney’s Halo Farms. By Ghostzapper out of the Coronado Quest mare Rehear, Hear the Ghost has a pedigree that suggests he will be suited to longer races.

[SAN FELIPE STAKES: Get Santa Anita PPs, watch video previews]

“He’s a pretty laid-back horse and easy to work with,” Hollendorfer said.

The San Felipe will be the graded-stakes debut for four other runners – Kochees, Omega Star, Salutos Amigos and Tiz a Minister. Carving, the winner of the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park in November, was fourth in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields last month.

Kochees was fourth in a tough optional claimer over a mile Jan. 31. Race winner Super Ninety Nine won the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 18, and runner-up Code West was second in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 23.

“He ran in one of the most productive first-condition races of the meeting,” said Mike Pender, who trains Kochees. “It was a salty race.”

Kochees is a closer who Pender thinks can be a factor Saturday.

“We’ll find out more about him,” he said. “I think he wants to go a mile and an eighth or a mile and a quarter.”

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders with odds and video]

Sam More than 1 year ago
I thought Ghostzapper was a short horse, but he's by Awesome Again [awesome!], by Deputy Minister. The dam by Coronado's Quest by Forty Niner by Mr. Prospector pretty much makes your statement about stamina correct.
Sam More than 1 year ago
Congrats, Steve
Sam More than 1 year ago
He looked great coming from off and beating Flashback. But I thought Ghostzapper was a short distance speed horse. Where's he get that classic distance ability?
DustysTool More than 1 year ago
Anything can happen with these young colts.My pick.#2 & #3 to run in exacta
Marc Strews More than 1 year ago
nice article about Hear the Ghost in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16.Well with goldenscents and flashback going to be bet co favorites.I will look else where.The San Felipe Stakes has been a very good key race in the past for derby starters.Also this race has produced upset winners and shocked the racing world.With that being said.I am going to play Kochees his last race has produced winners.And with a hot pace up front and the two co favorites leaving right next to each other we may have a good race to setup with a shocker.And even a better shot for logshot players and place and show betters watch the boared good luck all
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
Wel said jimmy. Flashbach will win this race hands down. But in da santa anita derby Goldencents will recipricate.
William Caple More than 1 year ago
It's so hard to know what to expect in these races with so little experience on the track. Gonna go with Flashback taking over down the stretch. derbydeals.com
steve milgats More than 1 year ago
Goldencents by three lengths and then the derby favorite on Sunday. Right team, horse has all the intangibles, and the coolest jockey on board for the ride.
John More than 1 year ago
Everyone, BEWARE ! The posting below is a FRAUD ! They take your money, and the site is a sham, you never hear from them again ! It originates from South Africa, are you going to chase your money 10,000 miles away ? Stick to the races, at least we know the payoff window is always open ! OMEGA STAR to stun them Saturday !
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
You did not actually fall for it did you?
DustysTool More than 1 year ago
Nice of you to dream!
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Why does DRF allow this ? But they respond anytime we question something in an artcle. Come on DRF.