HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Kent Sweezey’s trainee Phat Man proved to be too fast for his competition to keep pace as he swept to the lead in mid-stretch and took off to win Saturday’s $150,000 Fred W. Hooper Stakes Presented by Don Julio Tequilas (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 5 at 6/1 odds under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Phat Man took his time getting into stride while several foes blitzed ahead of him, anxious for the lead. Zenden put himself on the front end by a slim advantage over Epic Dreamer to his outside and Storm Advisory on the rail while posting fractions of :22.43, :44.68, and 1:09.47.
Completing the turn for home, Zenden dispatched of his early pressers but soon came under fire from a wide-rallying Phat Man, who quickly swept past him to the lead. Powering away in the stretch, Phat Man held sway over a stubborn Zenden to win by 1 length in a final time of 1:35.95 for the mile-long event over the fast main track.