|Breeder||Adena Springs Farms|
|Owner||Frank Stronach & Ghostzapper Syndicate|
|Trainer||Robert J. Frankel|
Breeders' Cup wins:
Breeders' Cup Classic (2004)
|Champion Older Male (2004)
United States Horse of the Year (2004)
World's Top Ranked Horse (2004)
|National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (2012)|
Ghostzapper (foaled April 6, 2000) was a Thoroughbred racehorse, who won the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2004, outdistancing Roses in May by three lengths in a stakes record of 1:59.02. His gate-to-wire Classic victory completed a 4-for-4 season and established him as one of the favorites for the 2004 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year title, which he went on to win.
Ghostzapper's victory gave trainer Robert J. Frankel his second Breeders' Cup victory in 62 starts and jockey Javier Castellano his first Breeders' Cup win. His overall performance for the year made Ghostzapper the "World's Top Ranked Horse" for 2004 as compiled by the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings.
After Ghostzapper's victory in the 2003 Vosburgh, he took time off to recover from quarter cracks. His first 2004 start came on July 4 at Belmont Park in the Tom Fool Handicap. He won the 7-furlong race in 1:20.40, 2/5 seconds off the track record.
Although Ghostzapper was primarily thought of as a sprinter, Frankel decided to point the horse towards the Breeders' Cup Classic run at 11⁄4 miles. Before that, Frankel needed to find out how far Ghostzapper could actually run, since he had never been further than 7 furlongs.
Frankel entered him in the Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap at Monmouth Park Racetrack on August 21. It was his first distance race, run at 11⁄8 miles. Over a muddy track, Ghostzapper won the race by 10 lengths in 1:47.6. He earned a 128 Beyer Speed rating, one of the highest ever recorded around 2 turns and one of the fastest Beyers recorded since the figures were invented. (Groovy, 1987 American Champion Sprint Horse, was the last horse to break the 130 Beyer Speed Figure, earning 133 and 132 in back-to-back 6-furlong races in 1987.)
Ghostzapper's next race was the Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park on September 11. Saint Liam (eventual 2005 Horse of the Year) ran stride for stride with him down the stretch as the horses bumped several times before Ghostzapper got his head in front in the final few strides.
His final race of 2004 was the Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park. Returning Breeders' Cup champ Pleasantly Perfect went off at almost identical odds to Ghostzapper, with Ghostzapper a slight favorite. Ghostzapper led the entire way, pulling away in the stretch to a 3-length victory. The final time of 1:59.02 set a new track record and Breeders' Cup Classic record.
Ghostzapper won the 2004 Horse of the Year title, beating Smarty Jones in votes 174-95.
In 2005, owner/breeder Frank Stronach returned Ghostzapper to racing, which was unusual for a previous Horse of the Year winner. Ghostzapper could easily earn $10 million a season as a stud. Stronach said he wanted to give something back to the game by returning Ghostzapper to competition, thus taking the financial risk.
Ghostzapper at stud
Ghostzapper was retired from racing on June 13, 2005, after the discovery of a hairline fracture in his left front ankle. He retired with career earnings of $3,446,120. He is currently standing stud at Stronach's Adena Springs Farm in Kentucky where his own sire, the champion racehorse Awesome Again (by Deputy Minister), stands. Ghostzapper's dam is Baby Zip, the 2005 Broodmare of the Year.
Ghostzapper commanded $200,000 per live foal his first year at stud, the highest fee ever for a first-time stallion at the time. Ghostzapper's first progeny began racing in 2009.
Ghostzapper covered 111 mares in the 2006 breeding season. On October 20, 2006, Adena Springs announced a reduction in his stud fee. His 2007 stud fee was $150,000 per live foal. From that year's crop, he sired Stately Victor, winner of the 2010 Blue Grass Stakes. His 2010 stud fee was reduced to $30,000 per live foal. Other notable runners include:
- Judy the Beauty, winner of the 2014 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and 2014 American Champion Female Sprint Horse
- Moreno, winner of the 2014 Whitney Handicap and 2015 Charles Town Classic
- Shaman Ghost, winner of the 2015 Queen's Plate
- Molly Morgan, winner of the 2015 La Troienne Stakes
- Za Approval, earner of $1.3 million in 32 starts
As of 2015, Ghostzapper stands for $60,000 per live foal.
"Few horses have devastated their opponents in so many ways, at so many distances, and in such fast times."—Steve Haskin
- 1st - Maiden TWO-YEAR-OLDS, Hollywood Park Racetrack, November 16, 2002
- 4th - Allowance Race, Hollywood Park, December 26, 2002
- 1st - Allowance Race, Belmont Park, June 20, 2003
- 1st - Allowance Race, Saratoga Race Course, July 26, 2003
- 3rd - King's Bishop Stakes G1, Saratoga Racetrack, August 23, 2003
- 1st - Vosburgh Stakes G1, Belmont Park, September 27, 2003
- 1st - Tom Fool Handicap G2, July 4, 2004
- 1st - Philip H Iselin Breeders Cup Handicap G3, Monmouth Park, August 21, 2004
- 1st - Woodward Stakes G1, Belmont Park, September 11, 2004
- 1st - Breeders' Cup Classic G1, Lonestar Park, October 30, 2004
- 1st - Metropolitan Handicap G1, Belmont Park, May 30, 2005
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