'Real warrior' Good Magic bidding to sparkle for Brown after break
USA: Sunday, Monmouth Park, 10.49pm BST
Haskell Invitational Stakes | Grade 1 | 3yo | 1m1f | Dirt | ATR
Following the news earlier in the week that Triple Crown hero Justify had been retired the stage is set for another three-year-old colt to show some star quality.
Good Magic (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) was behind Justify in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, finishing second and fourth, and with his old rival now out of the picture Brown thinks the colt can take advantage after a break.
"It [the Triple Crown] can take its toll on these horses when they're in a real battle with a great racehorse, and especially horses like Good Magic who give it their all and lay everything on the line trying to win," Brown told the Bloodhorse.
"Thankfully, he's a real warrior, and he survived the Triple Crown, and he still looks good. Did it take its toll on him, two tough races against Justify? Sure it did. He lost some weight. He was body sore. He needed some recovery time.
"But it was up to me to observe him and see if he could keep going another round. And I did, and the horse responded. He's trained really well, and he's bounced back super, considering everything he's been through. And I think he's ready to go back into the ring again."
Bravazo (D Wayne Lukas/Luis Saez) appears the main danger to Good Magic, having finished ahead of him in the Preakness when runner-up to Justify.
He then finished sixth in the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont, having filled the same position in the Kentucky Derby.
Lukas said: "He's a very tough, nice horse. He's actually getting better with maturity and I expect a very good effort from him."
Core Beliefs (Peter Eurton/Flavien Prat) and Lone Sailor (Thomas Amoss/Joe Bravo) face off again, having finished first and second in the Ohio Derby last time.
Only a nose separated the pair, and Eurton said: "It just came down to, 'He's doing so well, how many opportunities at a Grade 1 do you have?'
"Obviously, Good Magic is an awesome horse and the rest of the field is nothing to take lightly, but again this is a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing."
The winner of the race will be given an automatic fees-paid berth for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on November 3.
Also on Sunday
Del Mar: 11.59pm BST
Clement L. Hirsch Stakes | Grade 1 | 1m½f |3yo+ f/m | Dirt | ATR
Last season's champion sprinter Unique Bella (Jerry Hollendorfer/Mike Smith) is once again long odds-on to score at the highest level, but for anyone looking to take her on her last run at Del Mar resulted in a disappointing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
However, Don Alberto, racing manager to owner Fernando Diaz-Valdes, is unconcerned, and told the Bloodhorse: "Remember, she also won on her other start at Del Mar by ten and a quarter lengths. We don't even have to think about what happened at the Breeders' Cup, because it's a different situation.
"You have to run the race, though. Nothing in racing is for sure. But if you're the owner, you're feeling pretty good."
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