LOUISVILLE, KY – Trainer Jorge Periban’s Phantom Boss gave his conditioner his first career graded stakes win when he grinded out a successful score in Saturday’s $125,000 Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs.

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Breaking from the rail under Rafael Bejarano as the 3/2 favorite, Phantom Boss closely tracked from the two-path while Verb posted opening fractions of :21.84 and :45.51. Heading into the far turn, Snell Yeah – racing along Phantom Boss’ inside – moved outward and bumped Phantom Boss, forcing him to run four-wide by the top of the stretch.

A four-wide wall consisting of Verb, Rowdy Yates, Snell Yeah, and Phantom Boss was set down for the stretch run. At the 1/8 pole, Phantom Boss began to edge away from his foes while in the center of the lane. Despite a strong effort from Rowdy Yates to his inside, Phantom Boss was able to prevail by 3/4 of a length in a final time of 1:10.78 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.

“I always believed in this horse since I started working him as a baby,” Bejarano said. “He has always been so intelligent ever since I got on him. He debuted for maiden special weight in open company and ran an awesome race. The one thing that has been so special about this horse is, not only has he been improving in his performances on the track, but he’s been improving mentally. Today, breaking on the rail, I knew there would be some speed to my outside. We were able to sit a great trip just behind them and get around them at the top of the lane.”

Rowdy Yates was 2 lengths clear of Verb for second, with the same margin back to Two Last Words in fourth. Silent Malice, a spent Snell Yeah, and Rookie Salsa completed the order of finish. Alec and Arthur completely blew the break and never recovered or attempted to get into the action before he was eased and walked off.

Finnick the Fierce and Jamming Cameron were listed as trainer scratches.

Credit: Coady Photography

Phantom Boss’ win was his second straight and improved his overall record to 3-2-1-0 with $131,850 earned. The 2-year-old son of Shackleford is co-owned by Bada Beng Racing, Tom Beckerle, Amanda Navarro, and Terry Lovingier, the latter having also served as breeder in California.

“I told my wife this is the best place in the world to be,” said Periban It is such a beautiful track and I hope to be back here in the spring. When we debuted this horse in open company and he only got beat a nose I knew we had something special. I told the owners that he could have a very bright future. Today’s performance was unbelievable. I love Kentucky and can’t wait to come back.”

Phantom Boss returned $5 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.20 to show. Rowdy Yates brought back $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show, while Verb paid $3.20 to show.