Saturday, March 30, 2024

Il Miracolo got the better of favorite Tumbarumba by a neck after a spirited stretch duel in Saturday’s $150,000 Ghostzapper S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

For the 4-year-old Gun Runner colt, the Ghostzapper was his second graded stakes win of his career. He is the fourth stakes winner this year for Gun Runner, who entered the day ranked fifth on the 2024 General Sire list with just over $3 million in progeny earnings.

Il Miracolo was seeking his first victory since last August in the Smarty Jones S. (G3), though he had placed in four graded stakes in the interim. He broke alertly in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile contest and tucked in behind leader X Y Point and Tumbarumba rounding the first turn. Il Miracolo pushed his way between those two and the trio entered the far turn on even terms. Turning for home Tumbarumba had a short lead and maintained his narrow advantage until deep stretch, when Il Miracolo dug in and snatched victory in the final strides.

“I tried the horse one mile last time (when third in the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) on March 2), and he ran good. When he came back, we prepared him to run a long distance, and I was confident in my horse,” winning trainer Antonio Sano said. “Both horses are good horses. It was an excellent race. We’ll keep him around two turns now.”

Il Miracolo is owned by Willow Oaks Stable LLC and is now 4-5-3 in 19 starts and has earned $653,585. The chestnut colt was bred in Kentucky by Alexandres, LLC and sold to his connections at the 2022 OBS 2-year-old June sale.