©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to the Empire State Saturday where GOOD MAGIC has been tabbed as the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite in the 146th running of the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. Post time is 4:13 p.m. ET. for the Champagne Stakes (G1) which is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race.
There are several horses in this herd that recently broke their maiden and Good Magic, comes into this race off of a second-place finish in his maiden debut for trainer Chad Brown. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
GOOD MAGIC three wide in pursuit, advanced to latch on to the aforementioned foe [HAZIT] midway on the turn, came under coaxing five-sixteenths from home, continued three wide into upper stretch shaken off a bit straightened away, rallied to latch on once more a furlong out digging in under a drive but was ultimately repelled to the finish while clear of the rest for the place honors.
Good Magic looked good finishing second in his maiden debut and he has room to improve off that effort. With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Good Magic is one of the better bred colts in this race.
Curlin, the sire of Good Magic, was an outstanding racehorse that compiled an 11-2-2 record in 16 career starts with $10,501,800 in career earnings.
Curlin did not start as a two year old. But, at the age of three, Curlin was 6-1-2 in nine starts with $5,102,800 in earnings including wins in the Rebel Stakes (G3) and Arkansas Derby (G2) en route to a third-place finish in the 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1). He went on to win the Preakness Stakes (G1) and he finished second in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Other important stakes wins include the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), twice, Dubai World Cup (G1), Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1), and the UAE Jaguar Trophy Handicap.
Good Magic was a $1 million session four sale topper at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and he was a yearling (Hip 845) on my sales list.
It remains to be seen if Good Magic can step up in class to win graded stakes honors. However, he has the breeding to be competitive and two recent bullet work outs since his last race could have him ready to take another big step forward.
I look for Good Magic to run a good race.
A long shot I like is STRONGER (15-1) who’s trained by Eric Guillot. He comes into this race with a 1-0-0 record in two starts including an impressive maiden win at Gulfstream Park last out. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
STRONGER sat in god stalking position sitting outside the top trio, let out notch and steadily moved up closer reaching the leader at the quarter pole, matched strides turning for home then gave rival slip, pulled away to clear commanding lead and ridden out in deep stretch.
Stronger improved in the stretch out in distance and looked good breaking his maiden by 6½ lengths. But the time of 1:37.78 for the mile was slower than what I like and he’ll need to pick up the pace in order to earn graded stakes honors in the Champagne Stakes (G1).
Bodemeister, the sire of Stronger, did not race until the age of three when he made six starts for Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert, compiling a 2-4-0 record in six starts with $1,304,800 in career earnings.
He raced twice in the maiden ranks before finishing second in his third start, the San Felipe Stakes (G2). In his fourth start, Baffert shipped Bodemeister to Oaklawn Park where he was my pick to win the Arkansas Derby (G1). Bodemeister trounced the field, winning by an outstanding 9½ lengths. He then went on to finish second in both the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1).
Stronger is the best bred colt in this race with an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and he was a yearling (Hip 4154) I liked at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. However, he was taken out of the sale.
Stronger appears to like the Belmont track and a recent bullet work out could have him ready to run a career best.
HONORABLE TREASURE (6-1) comes into this race with a 1-0-0 record in two starts for trainer Kenny McPeek including an impressive win in a maiden race last out at Saratoga. Here’s the video and chart call:
HONORABLE TREASURE four then three wide in aim of the front, came under coaxing at the five-sixteenths upping the pressure on the leader, spun just off the inside for home taking over command, drew clear under a drive kept to task.
Honorable Treasure tracked just off the leader, chasing fast fractions, and pulled away with authority at the eighth pole to win by an impressive 6¼ lengths.
To Honor and Serve, the sire of Honorable Treasure, was a young colt I liked, along with my top pick Animal Kingdom, on the 2011 Kentucky Derby Trail.
In three racing seasons, To Honor and Serve was a multiple graded-stakes winner who compiled an 8-1-3 record in 17 starts with $1,798,840 in career earnings.
To Honor and Serve compiled a 3-1-0 record in four starts as a two year old with wins in the Nashua Stakes (G2) and Remsen Stakes (G2).
As a three year old, he was 3-0-2 in seven starts with a win in the Pennsylvania Derby and (G2) and the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1).
At the age of four, To Honor and Serve won the Westchester Stakes (G3) and Woodward Stakes (G1).
Honorable Treasure has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and has room to improve in his third start of the season. I look for him to run a good race.
ENTICED (10-1) comes into this race off of a maiden debut win over a muddy track for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Here’s the video and chart call:
ENTICED broke at the start, jostled with EGYPTIAN PRICE early, chased the pace on the outside, dropped back while climbing into the kickback mid-way down the backstretch, raced inside early on the turn,
When he initially encountered the kickback, Enticed dropped back five lengths off of the leaders but recovered nicely and made up ground to win “in hand” by 1¾ lengths at the finish.
Medaglia d’Oro, the sire of Enticed, was a good multiple graded-stakes winner that compiled an 8-7-0 record in 17 starts with $5,754,720 in career earnings. Overall, he had seven wins and five second-place finishes in 14 route races.
Medaglia d’Oro finished second in his only start as a two year old but as a three year old he won the San Felipe Stakes (G2) and finished second in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to the 2002 Derby where he finished in fourth place.
In the Preakness Stakes (G1), Medaglia d’Oro finished eighth but rebounded from that run to finish second in the Belmont Stakes (G1). He went on to complete his racing season as a three year old with wins in the nine-furlong Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and the 10-furlong Travers Stakes (G1).
As a four year old, Medaglia d’Oro won the nine-furlong Strub Stakes (G2), Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Whitney Handicap (G1). In addition, he finished second in the 10-furlong Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
At the age of five, Medaglia d’Oro won the nine-furlong Donn Handicap (G1) and finished second in the 10-furlong Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (G1).
Enticed has an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and a recent bullet work out since his last race could have him ready to take another big step forward.
Honorable mention goes to HAZIT (4-1) who comes into this race off of a maiden win, defeating Good Magic by one length.
This is the sixth consecutive year for Churchill Downs to use a point system to determine eligibility to get into the Kentucky Derby starting gate. A total of 36 races comprise the Road to the Kentucky Derby and a significant change to the schedule is the addition of the Springboard Mile at Remington Park on December 17.
In addition to the Japan road to the Derby which features the Cattleya Sho Stakes (November 25), Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushan Stakes (December 13) and Hayacinth Stakes (February 2018), Churchill Downs has added a European road to Derby glory consisting of seven races: Juddmonte Beresford (September 24), Juddmonte Royal Lodge (September 30), Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (October 1), Racing Post Trophy (October 28, Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes (March 1), Patton (March 2) and the Burradon (March 30).
2017/2018 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Bold d’Oro, 10, Mick Ruis, $360,000
2. The Tabulator, 10, Larry Rivelli, $126,750
3. Hollywood Star, 4, Dale Romans, $68,500
4. Solomini, 4, Bob Baffert, $60,000
5. Ten City, 2, Kenny McPeek, $83,300
6. Take the One O One, 2, Brian Koriner, $36,345
7. Ayacara, 1, Keith Desormeaux, $18,000
8. Ebben, 1, Steve Margolis , $7875
EUROPEAN ROAD LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Happily, 10, Aidan O’Brien,
2. Saxon Warrior (JPN), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $84,592
3. Roaring Lion (USA), 10, John Gosden, $75,986
4. Olmedo, 4, Jean-Claude Rouget,
5. Nelson (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $99,826
6. Delano Roosevelt (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $38,074
7. Masar, 2, Aidan O’Brien,
8. Mildenberger (ENG), 2, Mark Johnston, $64,634
9. Warm the Voice (IRE), 2, Brendan Duke, $12,904
10. Kew Gardens (IRE), 1, Aidan O’Brien, $28,605
11. Woodmax, 1, Nicolas Clement,
12. Petrus (IRE), 1, Brian Meehan, $7,182