Talented five-year-old Performer, who hails from the same family as Wilgerbosdrift’s exciting young stallion Fire Away, made it six wins from just eight starts when he won Saturday’s G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The Shug McGaughey-trained horse reeled off five straight victories, including the G3 2019 Discovery H., before having his win streak snapped with third in the G1 Cigar Mile H. at Aqueduct. Joel Rosario was up as the chestnut bounced back in the Hooper, and Performer completed the one-turn mile in 1:35.49.
Owned by Claiborne Farm and breeder Phipps Stable, Performer broke from the innermost post in the eight-horse field, but the 9-10 favorite did not appear comfortable while rating behind a pair of front-runners during the early stages.
After being angled four wide, Performer accelerated into contention nearing the completion of the far turn, but late-running Eye of Jedi also was making his presence felt to his inside as they straightened for home.
Eye of Jedi stuck a head in front with an eighth of a mile remaining, but Performer determinedly out-finished his rival to gain the upper hand in deep stretch.
A son of Speightstown, Performer is out of the A.P. Indy mare Protesting, who won three times and finished second in the G2 Demoiselle Stakes.
The blue blooded Protesting, also dam of Tropical Park Derby winner Breaking The Rules (by Fire Away’s sire War Front), numbers legendary racemare and producer Personal Ensign as her third dam, with that unbeaten champion also ranking as the granddam of Fire Away as well as recent G3 Louisiana Stakes victor Title Ready.