11/02/2012 10:37AM

Breeders' Cup: Mile High Magic works his way into Damascus Stakes

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Mile High Magic earned his way into Saturday’s $100,000 Damascus Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs at Santa Anita.

The deal was clinched after trainer Bob Baffert watched the gelding work a half-mile in 47 seconds on Monday.
“After working him, I decided I’d run,” Baffert said.

Mile High Magic has won 2 of 6 starts, but has yet to win a stakes. In his stakes debut, he finished second by a length in the Jim Kostoff Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Fairplex Park on Sept. 9.

“Throw that out,” Baffert said. “He spent his time looking at the Ferris wheel. He’s all right.”

Owned by breeder Mike Pegram, Mile High Magic won his second start, which came over 6 1/2 furlongs here in March, and his fourth start, a six-furlong allowance race at Betfair Hollywood Park in June. He was beaten a nose in an optional claimer over six furlongs at Hollywood Park on July 8, his start before the Kostoff Stakes.

Mile High Magic will need a career-best performance to win the Damascus. The race has drawn one American stakes winner in Politicallycorrect, the upset winner of the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Sept. 30.

Trained by Wesley Ward for breeders Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, Politicallycorrect won his first stakes in the Oklahoma Derby, which was run over 1 1/8 miles. He won an optional claimer over seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park in February.
Seven run in the Damascus, which is the third race on a 12-race program. The first Breeders’ Cup race of the day, the Juvenile Turf, follows the Damascus.

The race includes two other stakes-placed runners – Brother Francis and Private Zone.

Brother Francis has placed in three stakes, most recently a third in the Del Mar Derby on turf on Sept. 2. He was the six-length winner of a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar in August.

Private Zone, a Group 1 winner in Panama earlier this year, was third in the Gallant Bob Stakes over six furlongs at Parx Racing in Philadelphia on Sept. 22.