By Ryan Dickey (@rdickey249 on Twitter)
By Curlin out of a Hard Spun mare named Glinda the Good, Good Magic looks to be his sire’s sixth colt out of six crops of racing age to hit the board in Classic races. Exaggerator finished second in the Kentucky Derby before winning the Preakness (as Curlin himself did). Ride on Curlin finished second in the Preakness. Palace Malice won the Belmont Stakes, and was joined by Keen Ice and Irish War Cry who hit the board in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
Curlin’s progeny have proven to win at Classic distance, something his sire Smart Strike was unable to do. Curlin’s dam was an unraced Deputy Minister mare named Sheriff’s Deputy.
Racing progeny of Curlin have an average winning distance of 7.5 furlongs, while progeny of Hard Spun (damsire’s AWD) average 7.4 furlongs. Only Magnum Moon, Instilled Regard, Hofburg and Bolt d’Oro have higher sire AWDs than Good Magic in the Derby. Only Free Drop Billy, Vino Rosso and Bolt d’Oro have damsire AWDs greater than Good Magic in the Derby.
Glinda the Good was a multiple stakes winning filly who won three of her four winning races at one mile and one at a mile and seventy yards.
Resembling his sire in running style and physical traits, there is no reason to believe Good Magic should have any real limitations at ten furlongs. If he is, in fact, more like his sire than his dam, we have yet to see Good Magic’s best.
With five races to date on his resume, Good Magic has hit the board every time he has run. His maiden win was the 2017 Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after failing to win in a maiden special weight race at Saratoga in August and in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont in October.
Having finished second in his first two starts and then breaking through over heavily-favored Bolt d’Oro in the Juvenile, Good Magic was on the shelf until March 3 of this year when he had his most disappointing finish to date when he could only muster a third place finish in the Grade II Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, finishing behind Promises Fulfilled and Strike Power.
But Good Magic returned to form in his second start of the year, this time taking the Grade II Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, where he sat about five lengths off a quick pace, took control at the top of the stretch and was uncontested down the lane to claim victory.
His win in the Bluegrass garnered him a 95 Beyer Speed Figure, five off of his career high 100 which he earned in the 2017 B.C. Juvenile. Good Magic is one of a handful of Derby contenders to reach triple digits in Beyer Speed Figures, and he did it at two. He’s yet to repeat that 100 figure, but he’s running third off the layoff in the Derby, which leads for hope that he’ll return to his top at the very least.
Good Magic finished second in the Derby points race, garnering 134 points.
Chad Brown is one of the best trainers in North America, and it’s a shame he’s mostly known as being a “turf trainer”. Although his greatest runners to date have excelled on the grass, Brown is a more than capable trainer on dirt as well.
Brown has been awarded the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer following the last two racing years, and won a Classic race last year when Cloud Computing captured the Preakness. He has yet to win the Kentucky Derby.
Jose Ortiz won the 2017 Eclipse Award as most outstanding jockey, and won the Belmont Stakes aboard Tapwrit last year. Ortiz has been up for every Good Magic race except for the maiden special weight race at Saratoga.
e Five bought Good Magic for $1,000,000 as a yearling, and has had big-time success in a very short time–winning three Breeders’ Cup races in as many tries (New Money Honey in 2016, Rushing Fall and Good Magic in 2017).
Good Magic drew well, landing the #6 post, just to the left of morning line and most-probable post-time favorite Justify. With some early speed prospects to the inside, Good Magic is primed for an ideal trip, as Ortiz can get towards the rail to save ground but still be ahead of the “cavalry charge” wall of horses that more often than not cause problems for better horses that draw high double digit posts.
Although Good Magic’s final furlong times in his races haven’t been spectacular (nor his final three furlong times), there is enough reason to believe that a good ride by Ortiz, coupled with Good Magic’s pedigree and a return to his previous top puts him in contention.
His morning line odds of 12-1 should decrease by race time, and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities that Good Magic could be the third or fourth choice on the board when the gates open. Expect 8-1 odds.
While I don’t have Good Magic as my TOP choice to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby, it would be foolish to leave him off exotic bets. Good Magic should continue his streak of hitting the board.
photos by Holly M. Smith (@kyholmarie on Twitter)