Speaker's Corner Turns Back Fearless in Fred W. Hooper - petsitterbank

Speaker’s Corner Turns Back Fearless in Fred W. Hooper

Even though 6-5 favorite Fearless was charging hard down the stretch, Godolphin homebred Speaker’s Corner kept that rival at bay to collect his first stakes score in the $150,000 Fred W. Hooper Stakes Presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa (G3) Jan. 29th Gulfstream Park.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Speaker’s Corner made his 4-year-old debut in the one-mile Hooper. It was the street-sense colt’s first start since he led through most of the 1 1/8-mile Discovery Stakes Nov. 27 at Aqueduct Racetrack before being caught a half-length by Miles D . One race earlier, he won by 6 3/4 lengths against allowance optional claiming company when racing 1 1/16 miles Oct. 29 at Belmont Park.

“We didn’t know if we’d be on the lead. We didn’t really plan to be there, but the horse broke well and he was taking (jockey Junior Alvarado) and he was traveling easily,” Mott said after the race. “He was in between horses and (Alvarado) said he didn’t want to get jammed up so he let him cruise on and it worked out well. They took a little run at him around the turn and he was able to repel those horses and, of course, good enough to hold off the late challenge of Fearless.”

Speaker’s Corner, off as the 3-2 second choice, broke from post 7 in the eight-horse field. After matching strides out of the gate he took over the lead to set fractions of :22.13 and :44.82 through the first half-mile. Fearless, with Luis Saez up, broke from the rail but settled at the back the first quarter-mile and was up into fifth at the halfway mark.

The pacesetter ticked off three-quarters in 1:09.55 with Girolamo’s Attack and officiating close behind, while Saez called on Fearless to advance on the leaders. Fearless launched a four-wide bid under an all-out drive from Saez but Speaker’s Corner repelled the challenge.

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Speaker’s Corner crossed the finish line 1 1/4 lengths the best, completing the distance on a fast track in 1:35.26. He returned $5 on a $2 win bet.

“It was just a phenomenal performance by him,” Alvarado said. “We always thought very high of him. He’s been a bit of a process to build up and to get to this race and the way he did it. He has a great trainer in Bill Mott. I think I was just a passenger today. He was very good today. He put up the fast fractions with horses on the inside and outside. He put them away and still had enough courage to draw away home very strong.”

Fearless was second 9 1/4 lengths clear of third-place finisher Officiating. Girolamo’s Attack, Liam , Shivaree , Payne and Dennis Moment completed the order of finish. good reason was scratched.

Speaker’s Corner now has a 4-1-1 record from seven starts and earnings of $286,850.

The Kentucky-bred is the first foal out of the unraced Bernardini pond Tyburn Brook who was produced from 2006 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner round pond . Tyburn Brook is a half sister to Long River , a group 1 winner in Dubai who is by AP Indy, the sire of Bernardini. Tyburn Brook’s other foals include an unraced 3-year-old Street Sense colt named Town Branch a 2-year-old Maclean’s Music colt and a yearling Nyquist Colt.

Video: Fred W. Hooper S. presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa (G3)

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