Three Colts Have Chance to Make ‘Magic’ in Preakness 148

May 19, 2023

Mage, a chestnut son of Good Magic, with his primary trainer, Gustavo Delgado, Sr. (Jim McCue/MJC)

Mage, Blazing Sevens, Perform All Sons of Good Magic

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

BALTIMORE— There is one horse that stands above all the others in Saturday’s 148th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

Of course, the easiest of answers is Mage, the Kentucky Derby(G1) winner, who is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Peel the Preakness onion a few more layers and you’ll come up with an even more intriguing Thoroughbred who could very well have a say in who wears the blanket of Black-Eyed Susans just after 7 Saturday night.

His name is Good Magic, and he hasn’t run in a horse race since 2018 when he finished his career with a ninth-place finish in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga. When the Preakness is run, he’ll be kicking back in his stall in the stallion barn at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Paris, Ky.

Maybe Good Magic will do a little strutting as he nickers to stallion pals like Curlin and Ghostzapper. With what he has done for this year’s Preakness, he has earned the right to boast.

Blazing Sevens blazing a gallop at Pimlico (Jim McCue/MJC)

Besides Mage, Rodeo Creek Racing LLC’s Blazing Sevens and Perform, owned by Woodford Racing LLC, Lanes End Farm, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone and Edward J. Hudson Jr. are sons of Good Magic. They are all from his first crop.

And, if you want to take it a step further, Curlin, the grandsire of Good Magic, also has a major say in this Preakness. Besides being the grandsire of Good Magic, he is also the grandsire of Ride On Curlin, the sire of Preakness runner Coffeewithchris. 

“We are very proud,” said Jared Burdine, the general manager at Hill ‘n’ Dale. “It’s nice seeing all our years in the making make this kind of stuff happen. All the credit goes to the horse. The stallion either has the switch on or off. Most breeders were foreseeing what could come about this year and (Good Magic) has kind of exceeded everyone’s expectations. Everyone that was on the fence has now completely pushed all in.”

Mage, owned by OGMA Investments LLC, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH, is the one getting all the buzz after his win in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He is the only horse from the Run for the Roses that made the trip to Baltimore.

“Three of eight … for Good Magic to have almost 40 percent of the field means something,” Restrepo said. “Good Magic is the goods, the real deal.”

Perform gets in a gallop on a sunny Pimlico morning (Jim McCue/MJC)

According to Equibase, the last time there was an abundance of offspring from the same sire in a single Preakness was 2016 when sire Uncle Mo produced four of the 11 horses in the race: Nyquist (third), Laoban (sixth), Uncle Lino (7th) and Abiding Star (11th).

Those horses came from Uncle Mo’s first crop.

Bloodstock agent Restrepo and Gustavo Delgado Jr., Mage’s assistant trainer and son of trainer Gustavo Delgado, had their sights set on last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old in training sale at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

They had eyes for one horse: a chestnut son of Good Magic out of the Big Brown mare Puca.

“That was the horse on our big board, he was No. 1 on our Mel Kuiper draft board, our top pick,” Restrepo said.

The Mage team was so enamored with the horse that would become Mage that they broke their bank. The limit they went into the sale with was $200,000. They bought the horse for $290,000.

Good Magic, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables, raced nine times in his career and had three wins, three seconds and a third for earnings of $2,945,00. He broke his maiden when he won the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), becoming the first horse to ever break his maiden in that race. He won the 2017 Eclipse Award for champion 2-year-old colt.

At three, he added the Blue Grass (G2) and Haskell (G1).

During his 3-year-old campaign, he chased home Triple Crown winner Justify in the Kentucky Derby (G1), losing by 2 ½ lengths. He was also fourth to him in the Preakness.

When Good Magic, who was bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, started his second career, expectations were high.

“No pun intended,” Burdine said, “but he had a magic mix of speed and stamina.”

Good Magic’s stallion photo courtesy of Hill n’ Dale.

Good Magic was trained by Chad Brown, who also has Blazing Sevens. 

In his first year as a stallion, Good Magic covered 164 mares and had 134 foals. Twenty-two of the 65 horses that got to the races won, including Blazing Sevens, whose win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was the first Grade 1 for Good Magic as a stallion. Mage’s Kentucky Derby was the second.

“There is a lot of pride,” Brown said about Good Magic. “The horse was second to a great horse, a Triple Crown winner, in Justify. You wonder if that was really supposed to be my first Derby win. There are no do overs, and you can’t pick and choose. One of the best horses I ever trained was Good Magic.

“Predicting stallions is impossible, but I have a lot of confidence in the top male horses that go off to stud from our barn are going to be good,” he said. 

Good Magic’s stud fee started at $35,000 in 2020, was $30,000 in 2021 and 2022 and is $50,000 this year.

What would be the best Preakness result for Hill n’ Dale?

“Triple dead heat would be nice,” Burdine said with a laugh. “That would be two extra Grade I winners and Mage would carry on as a potential Triple Crown winner.”

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