Fappie's Notebook rallied from far back to edge Twilight Road by a head in Sunday's $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. On a drying out track labeled good, Irving and Marjorie Cowan's homebred completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.19 under Jorge Chavez.
Explicit and Kipperscope dueled for the early lead while setting quick fractions while Fappie's Notebook dropped back to sixth in the seven-horse field. Kipperscope led the field into the stretch as Explicit fell back but was collared by Twilight Road approaching the eighth-mile pole. In the final furlong, Fappie's Notebook split horses to make the lead and just held off a game Twilight Road at the finish line.
Twilight Road finished 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Binthebest, who closed from last to finish third. Kipperscope, Explicit, Personal First, and Red's Honor completed the order of finish.
Florida-bred Fappie's Notebook completed his 4-year-old season Dec. 15 by defeating Kiss a Native by 1 1/2 lengths in the seven-furlong Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap at Calder. He made his 5-year-old debut in mid-January's 1 1/16-mile Skip Away Handicap, in which he finished fifth before cutting back to a sprint for Sunday's win, his first in a graded stakes. He's won three other listed stakes last year for trainer Emanuel Tortora, while also finishing second in last year's Deputy Minister.
The 7-5 favorite returned $4.80, $2.80, and $2.40. Twilight Road paid $5 and $3.40. Binthebest was worth $4.80 to show. The winning exacta combination paid $21.60.
Fappie's Notebook, a chestnut son of Notebook out of the Fappiano mare Miss Fappiano, earned $60,000 for the win, his ninth in 18 career starts. (Chart, Equibase