February 24, 2024

Performer rebounds in Hooper; Pacific Gale upsets Inside Information

Performer wins the Hooper Stakes (Coglianese Photos/Lauren King)

On Saturday’s Pegasus Day undercard, Gulfstream Park offered a pair of graded stakes on the main track.

$125,000 Fred W.  Hooper S. (G3)

Performer had to work, but the classy 5-year-old returned to the winner’s circle with a neck win.

The Shug McGaughey-trained horse reeled off five straight victories, including the 2019 Discovery H. (G3), before having his win streak snapped with third in the Dec. 5 Cigar Mile H. (G1) at Aqueduct. Joel Rosario was up as the chestnut bounced back in the Hooper, and Performer completed the one-turn mile in 1:35.49.

Owned by Claiborne Farm and breeder Phipps Stable, Performer broke from the innermost post in the eight-horse field, but the 9-10 favorite did not appear comfortable while rating behind a pair of front-runners during the early stages.

After being angled four wide, Performer accelerated into contention nearing the completion of the far turn, but late-running Eye of Jedi also was making his presence felt to his inside as they straightened for home.

Eye of Jedi stuck a head in front with an eighth of a mile remaining, but Performer determinedly out-finished his rival to gain the upper hand in deep stretch. The runner-up, who was off at 13-1, wound up 1 1/4 lengths better than third-placer Avant Garde.

Shivaree, Phat Man, Dream Maker, Indimaaj, and Haikal completed the order.

By Speightstown, Kentucky-bred Performer is out of the Grade 2-placed A.P. Indy mare Protesting, who is a half-sister to multiple graded winner and sire Parading. This is the female family of champions Personal Ensign and Storm Flag Flying.

$200,000 Inside Information S. (G2)

Pacific Gale rallied to upset the 7-furlong Inside Information, snapping a 17-race losing streak for owner Tobey Morton and trainer John Kimmel. John Velazquez guided the 6-year-old mare, who notched her first win since October 2018, and Pacific Gale was overlooked at 16-1 among eight distaffers.

Cinnabunny and Thisismytime, the top two choices in the betting, dueled through from the start, establishing splits in :22.45 and :45.13. Pacific Gale stalked a few lengths back in fifth, and she launched her rally three-wide into the lane.

Pacific Gale struck the front in midstretch and drew away to score by 2 3/4 lengths, stopping the teletimer in 1:22.60. Thisismytime held second by a length over late-running Piedi Bianchi in third.

Cinnabunny, Dream Marie, Bronx Beauty, Sally’s Curlin, and Sound Machine came next under the wire.

Bred in Kentucky by Bally Breeders, Pacific Gale earned her first stakes win in the 2017 Sorority at Monmouth Park. The Flat Out mare placed in eight stakes before getting her first graded victory in the Inside Information.

Pacific Gale now earned $510,130 from a 28-4-6-5 record.