HALLANDALE BEACH, FL — Speaker’s Corner set taxing fractions in the Fred Hooper Stakes (G3) but still had enough in reserve to hold off 6-5 favorite Fearless in the one-mile race named for one of Florida’s most iconic horsemen. With Junior Alvarado in the irons, Speaker’s Corner assumed command along the backstretch before unleashing his winning kick in the stretch to record his first stakes victory. Trained by Bill Mott for owner-breeder Godolphin LLC, Speaker’s Corner is a 4-year-old son of Street Sense and was making just his seventh career start.
The colt was coming out of a second-place finish in the Discovery at Aqueduct on Nov. 27. Fearless, the 6-5 favorite, circled horses in the turn and rallied gamely in the stretch but could not overtake the winner, falling 1 1/4 lengths short of Speaker’s Corner. It was another 9 1/4 lengths back to Officiating in third.
Winning trainer: (Bill Mott): “We didn’t know if we’d be on the lead. We didn’t really plan to be there, but the horse broke well and he was taking him and he was traveling easily. He was in between horses and he said he didn’t want to get jammed up so he let him cruise on and it worked out well. They took a little run at him around the turn and he was able to repel those horses and, of course, good enough to hold off the late challenge of Fearless.”
Winning jockey: (Junior Alvarado): “It was just a phenomenal performance by him. We always thought very high of him. He’s been a bit of a process to build up and to get to this race and the way he did it. He has a great a great trainer in Bill Mott. I think I was just a passenger today. He was very good today. He put up the fast fractions with horses on the inside and outside. He put them away and still had enough courage to draw away home very strong.”
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Speaker’s Corner wins the G3 Fred Hooper (Coglianese Photo)