|Trainer||Robert J. Frankel|
|Ginger Punch is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Nappelon by Awesome Again. She was born around 2003 in the United States, and was bred by Adena Springs.|
Breeders' Cup wins:|
Breeders' Cup Distaff (2007)
|American Champion Older Female Horse (2007)|
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
Ginger Punch (foaled April 23, 2003 in Florida) is an American Thoroughbred filly racehorse. Owned and bred by operations belonging to automotive parts magnate, Frank Stronach, she is out of the mare Nappelon and sired by the Canadian-bred Awesome Again, winner of his country's 1997 Queen's Plate and the 1998 Breeders' Cup Classic and who, as a sire, has produced four Breeders' Cup winners including the 2004 World Champion, Ghostzapper.
Trained by Bobby Frankel, Ginger Punch raced in Kentucky in May 2006 at Churchill Downs where she won her first race. She did not win again until October when she captured an allowance race at Keeneland Race Course.
2007 racing season
Ginger Punch made her 2007 debut in April in the Grade II Madison Stakes on the Polytrack surface at Keeneland Race Course and finished second to Ventura, the winner of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint race under jockey Rafael Bejarano. In May she won an allowance race at Churchill Downs then on June 16 at Belmont Park in New York she had difficult positioning under jockey David Flores but when she finally got clear made a strong late charge to finish second by a neck in the 1 1/16-mile Ogden Phipps Handicap.
On July 8, 2007, under regular jockey Rafael Bejarano, Ginger Punch earned the first stakes victory of her career when she won the 7 furlong First Flight Handicap at Belmont Park by five lengths. Three weeks later at Saratoga Race Course she got her first Grade I win, capturing the much longer (9 furlongs) Go For Wand Handicap by again pulling away from the field at the top of the stretch and winning by six lengths. On September 30 in the Beldame Stakes, Ginger Punch was sent off as the betting favorite. As in the past, she made a strong move at the top of the stretch but was unable to hold on and finished third.
For the annual Breeders' Cup, owner Frank Stronach usually nominates twenty to thirty percent of his large stable of foals but Ginger Puch had not been one of them. Despite her disturbing loss in the Beldame Stakes, trainer Bobby Frankel convinced Stronach to pay the $180,000 supplemental fee in order for her to run in late October's Breeders' Cup Distaff at Monmouth Park. The decision to pay the fee so she could compete appeared to be headed for a disastrous result when heavy rains left the Monmouth track in a very muddy condition. Previously, the only time Ginger Punch had ever failed to finish in the top three was on a similarly sloppy track. However, in the race she put on a determined performance to win a muddy stretch duel with Hystericalady plus held off a late charge from third-place finisher Octave to capture the $2 Million Breeders' Cup Distaff. By that victory she earned the title of Champion Older Female in the 2007 Eclipse Awards.
2008 racing season
Having finished either first or second in 17 of her 20 career starts, Ginger Punch continues to race at age five. She made her debut on January 26, 2008 with a 6 ¾ lengths win in the Sunshine Millions Distaff. In the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap on April 5, she finished third to the undefeated and multiple Grade I winner, Zenyatta. On June 14, 2008, she took the Grade I Ogden Phipps Handicap by five or more lengths in a hand ride. On July 26, 2008 she took the Go For Wand Handicap for the second consecutive time, battling for room to run until the very last moment when she split horses for the lead. On August 22, 2008, she fought Lemon Drop Mom hard to win the Grade I Personal Ensign Handicap by a head bob. Trainer Frankel decided after the race to point his champion mare to the Grade I Beldame Stakes and Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic to attempt to become the leading female purse winner in North America. However, on a sloppy track at Belmont Park on September 27, Ginger Punch finished a neck behind Cocoa Beach in the $600,000 Beldame Stakes. On October 24, in what might be the champion mare's last start, Ginger Punch was fifth in a strong field of eight Grade I winners: Zenyatta, Cocoa Beach, Music Note, Carriage Trail, and Hystericalady (Carriage Trail and Hystericalady were in a dead heat for 4th place) in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.