Ghostzapper Stakes 2021 Preview: Eye of a Jedi could be a force

Don't underestimate Eye of a Jedi in the G3 Ghostzapper
Don't underestimate Eye of a Jedi in the G3 Ghostzapper

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The G3 Ghostzapper revolves around Last Judgment (#1), who has paid immediate dividends for his owners since being claimed for 62.5k last fall. While it may have been tempting to write off his romp in the Sunshine Classics on January 16 as a fluke, he came back last time to win the G3 Challenger at Tampa to dispel that notion. Those two efforts clearly make him a major player in this race, which does not feature a strong field, however I have serious doubts about the quality of the races he’s won and there’s still the looming threat of him turning back into a pumpkin at any point. At a very short price I’d prefer to take at least one shot against him.

Full disclosure, I’ve had a soft spot for Eye of a Jedi (#2) for quite awhile now. This horse is as honest as the day is long and has outrun his odds on a number of occasions at Gulfstream Park, including two back when he nearly defeated top miler Performer in the G3 Fred Hooper. He took a step in the wrong direction last out in the G2 Gulfstream Park Mile, and given his low-percentage trainer it’d be easy to write him off based on that effort, however I’m not going to let one subpar performance deter me. Eye of a Jedi has just been too good for too long to discount here, and he will likely be an overlay yet again. The icing on the cake for me is that he entices Javier Castellano to ride, who is a monumental upgrade in jockey.

I also wouldn’t discount Just Whistle (#3), who is coming off an underwhelming effort on February 27 but nearly won this race last year at 24-1. Like Eye of a Jedi, Just Whistle has habitually been underestimated by bettors and has a history of running well in some tougher spots. As a true two-turn horse I’m not going to hold his last race against him, which came at a one-turn mile, and if anything it should set up him up nicely for this spot. The key with him is that he needs a solid pace to run at, but that should be the case with a couple speedsters in the field.

Order of preference:  2-1-3-6

Race 8 on the card this Saturday at Gulfstream is the Grade III Ghostzapper Stakes. Last Judgment and War Stopper meet again just three weeks after they faced off in the Challenger at Tampa Bay Downs

It is our in-house handicapper who drew the GP assignment so his analysis is below along with our Race Card.

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