06/10/2008 11:00PM

Ack Magical faces Chief Tudor in Magic City


Ack Magical will defend his title against Chief Tudor, a four-time winner of the event, in the $35,000 Magic City Classic for Alabama-breds at River Downs on Saturday. Ack Magical won the one-mile Magic City in November when it was run at Turfway Park.

Ack Magical has not finished better than fourth in his three starts since winning the Magic City, and comes off a ninth-place finish in a Churchill Downs allowance. Ack Magical is trained by Bill Hicks and will be ridden by Rodney Prescott, who was aboard in the Magic City at Turfway.

Chief Tudor, trained by George Bush, has won 4 of his 11 races at River Downs. The 11-year-old Chief Tudor will be ridden by Hector Rosario Jr.

Skip Drinkard will have three of the 10 entrants in the Magic City, Bush sends out two, and Gary House will have the only coupled entry, sending out the mares Seducing Mr. G and Robyn's Maid.

There is no longer live Thoroughbred racing in Alabama, so the Magic City Classic has to be run elsewhere.

* Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron will be at River Downs on Tuesday to pony the mount of the first graduate of his North American Racing Academy, Jessica Oldham Stitc. Stitc is the daughter of former jockey John Oldham and the photographer Susan Picou Oldham. Stitc won an amateur race at High Hope Steeplechase, but has not ridden as a professional.

The academy was founded by McCarron in 2006. According to the academy's mission statement, its goal is to "develop and operate a world-class racing school that will provide students with the education, training and experience needed to become skilled in the art of race riding, proficient in the care and management of racehorses and knowledgeable about the workings of the racing industry as a whole."