Munnings’ Phat Man Wins Grade III Fred Hooper
Already a listed stakes winner, Phat Man (6g Munnings x Nicole’s Dream, by Flying Twosie) became Munnings’ 14th graded stakes winner at Gulfstream Park with a win in the Grade III Fred Hooper on Saturday.
Running over a mile, the gelding ran in midpack through sizzling fractions while waiting for his chance to pounce. That time came as the field entered the stretch when Phat Man was given clear running room and bounced up to the pacesetter to take over the lead in the final furlong.
The first graded stakes winner for trainer Kent Sweezey, Phat Man extended his lead to three quarters of a length at the wire to add a seventh career victory to his record for owners Marianna Stribling, Force Five Racing, and Two Rivers Racing Stable.
Bred by Kim and Rodney Nardelli, Phat Man was purchased by Sweezey at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Summer Selected Horse of Racing Age Sale. He is out of 24-time winner Nicole’s Dream, who won 11 stakes races in her career and has produced four winners from seven to race including Listed winner Estrellara.
Munnings is quickly proving to be the value sire in Kentucky as a leading sire of juveniles and stakes horses with 36 stakes winners overall, including this year’s Grade I Kentucky Oaks hopeful and Grade II winner Finite.