Thoroughbred Daily News
Bodemeister - Above Perfection, by In Excess (Ire) - WinStar Farm
WinStar Farm - Versailles, KY | 2014 | Entered Stud 2019 | 2020 Fee $25,000

Second Chances: Zapper Van Winkle


Steve Margolis | Horsephotos

By Steve Sherack

In this continuing series, TDN’s Senior Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar. In this edition, Zapper Van Winkle (Ghostzapper), a grandson of the brilliant Capote Belle, is highlighted. Previous runners featured in this column include: MGISW and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Paradise Woods (Union Rags), GSW Backyard Heaven (Tizway) and MSW and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Gidu (Ire) (Frankel {GB}).

After missing the break on debut this past weekend, the well-bred Zapper Van Winkle (g, 3, Ghostzapper–San Miguel Belle, by Curlin) came charging down the Fair Grounds stretch like a horse with a bright future to finish an encouraging second.

Off at 20-1 in the six-furlong affair for the patient Steve Margolis barn–responsible for just six winners from his last 93 first-time starters, per DRF Formulator–the blinkered bay had his work cut out for him while trailing the field of eight heading into the far turn.

James Graham tipped the gelding to the center of the track about seven wide as they straightened for home and he finally arrived in the picture in deep stretch, rocketing home to cover his final eighth in :12.08 to finish within 3/4 of a length of the winner.

A homebred for Robert E. and Lawana Low, Zapper Van Winkle was produced by an unraced daughter of Capote Belle (Capote), who scored a memorable win for these same owners in Saratoga’s GI Test S. back in 1996. He had posted 11 workouts for Margolis at Fair Grounds going back to early November prior to his unveiling.

“I got the horse in early November from Tom McCrocklin in Ocala who breaks a lot of Robert and Lawana’s horses,” Margolis said. “I don’t know when Tom gelded him, but I think he was a little tough to deal with early on. It took him a little while to adjust to the track once we got him, so we just took our time with him. I saw as the horse kept working more, he handled everything real well. He never really lit the track up, but he was always very competitive in his works.

Margolis continued, “It was a decent group of maidens. We hope he can move forward–it was definitely a solid effort first time out. I think we’ll sprint him back one more time here and then when we get over to Keeneland, there will be more options as far as middle-distance races. Hopefully, we can have some luck with him.”

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