OCEANPORT, N.J. — Good Magic, the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner and Eclipse Champion 2-year-old, set out to capture more trophies in prestigious races when he started, as his trainer said “a new form cycle,” by winning the $1 million, Grade 1 Betfair Haskell Invitational, Monmouth Park's signature race on July 29.
After finishing second in the rain-soaked Kentucky Derby and fourth in an equally soaked Preakenss Stakes, two-time Eclipse Award winning trainer Chad Brown, said “We gave this horse a freshening. He came here to race strong and sound.” That he was, when the son of champion Curlin from the Hard Spun mare Glinda the Good took on six rivals in the Haskell, the race named for the founder of Monmouth Park, the late Amory L. Haskell.
Racing in the colors of his breeder, Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stable, the colt was kept in second place in close attendance to the pace setting Roaming Union by New York riding champion Jose Ortiz.
After he shed Roaming Union around the far turn, Good Magic took over the race passing the quarter pole. With moderate encouragement from Ortiz, it was clear sailing to the wire and a 3-length win over Calumet's Bravazo, who was sixth in the Derby, second in the Preakness and sixth again in the Belmont. Lone Sailor, the runner up in last month's Ohio Derby, was another six lengths back in third place.
Good Magic was timed in 1:50.01 over a fast track under an impost of 118 pounds, six more than he will likely carry in his next starts.
When I asked Brown about Good Magic making the Aug. 25 running of the $1.25 million, Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga, he replied, “I think this horse is starting another form cycle. He had a freshening. He ran a great race today. We'll get him back to Saratoga tomorrow. We'll see how he's doing. If he's doing well and training well, we'll run him in the Travers.”
Looking to the possibility of needing more time, Brown concluded his answer saying, “If not, it will be Parx...” and the $1 million, Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 22.
No doubt, the definite target for Brown, Banke and partner Bob Edwards of e Five Thoroughbreds is the $5 million, Grade 1 Breeders Cup that is carded this year at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.
After the Haskell, jockey Ortiz seemed ready to get right to the Travers.
“When he passed the eighth pole he actually gave me another gear. When we hit the sixteenth pole I said 'All right, let me gear down because we have the Travers coming up so I want to save a little bit.' I think he did it pretty easy. I’m just happy we got the win,” he said.
The win for Good Magic, who ran second in a maiden special and the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at age 2 before breaking his maiden in the $2 million, Grade 1 Breeder's Cup Juvenile, was the third in his racing career. Because Brown, Banke and Edwards had him campaigning in big money races, he went into the Haskell with earnings of $2.3 million.
The $600,000 he earned from the Haskell puts him just $55 short of the $3 million mark in career earnings.
The 37,186 racing fans on track wagered $1.9 million on the 14-race Haskell Day card. Around the world, all sources wagering totaled $13.3 million.
At Monmouth, $1.1 million was sent into the win, place and show pools with Good Magic the odds on favorite at 1 to 2. He paid $3, $2.40 and $2.10 across the board. Bravazo, the 5 to 1 second choice paid $4 to place and $2.60 to show. Lone Sailor was worth $2.60 to show.
The $1 exacta of Good Magic and Bravazo paid $4.70.
Photos Bill DenverSee more Equestrian news at www.TAPintoHorses.net
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