Adena Springs mourns dam of Ghostzapper
Baby Zip was also responsible for Grade 1 winner and sire City Zip
Baby Zip, dam of the explosive Ghostzapper, has been put down after complications arising from an attack of laminitis. The 26-year-old Relaunch mare, US Broodmare of the Year in 2005, was also responsible for Grade 1 winner and sire City Zip.
Daughter of a multiple stakes winner by Tri Jet, Thirty Zip, Baby Zip's family did not bring obvious distinction before her fifth dam, Native Gal, who appears as fourth dam in the pedigree of Affirmed. Nor did her racing career contain clear indications of the fame that awaited in the paddocks.
She did manage to win a stakes race at Laurel as a juvenile, but mustered only a solitary allowance success - over six furlongs at Pimlico - in an 11-race campaign at three, and was dropped into a claimer on her final start.
She was then purchased privately by Frank Stronach, but promised so little that her third foal raised just $9,000 at Keeneland's January mixed sale in 1999. The son of Carson City turned out to be City Zip, who dead-heated for the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes and won a Grade 2 sprint after a failed experiment over longer distances at three. City Zip, standing at Lane's End, has sired four Breeders' Cup winners in the past three years.
Ghostzapper, Horse of the Year in 2004, was Baby Zip's fifth foal. Trained for Stronach by Bobby Frankel, the son of Awesome Again had a fitful start to his career but with maturity proved able to carry devastating speed a remarkable distance. Many doubted that a trailblazing, runaway Vosburgh winner could last home in the Breeders' Cup Classic, but Ghostzapper stormed home by three lengths in a race-record time.
Retired to his owner's Adena Springs Farm, Ghostzapper had his work cut out when retired at $200,000. Before long he had dwindled to a tenth of that fee, but nowadays has a record strong enough to restore him to $75,000. Paulassilverlining recently became his tenth Grade 1 winner, while he retains a live contender for the Kentucky Derby in McCraken.
"City Zip's influence on our stud book will remain prominent for generations to follow," said Adena Springs general manager Eoin Ryan. "It's a rarity to produce a pair of stallions that have made such an impact on our breed. We'll certainly miss having her around the farm."