11/05/2017 5:58PM

Good Magic is Eclipse Award-worthy, Brown says

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Susie Raisher
Trainer Chad Brown said he believes Good Magic's win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile should be good enough for an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Good Magic, who at Del Mar on Saturday became the first maiden to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, shipped to south Florida on Sunday for a brief vacation before gearing up for a run toward the Kentucky Derby next May.

Good Magic, who had finished second in a maiden race at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park, galloped to a 4 1/4-length victory over the pace-prompting Solomini in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Saturday at Del Mar. The previously undefeated Bolt d’Oro, the 3-5 favorite, was another length back in third.

Good Magic, a son of Curlin who sold for $1 million at auction, is co-owned by Bob Edwards’ e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stable, the latter also being the colt’s breeders. In Fact, Good Magic was sent to Stonestreet Farm in Ocala for his vacation.

Trainer Chad Brown said he is looking forward to giving Good Magic the chance to prove himself on the Derby trail.

“His first start around two turns was impressive,” Brown said. “It looked like he was getting every bit of that mile and a sixteenth and beyond. If he continues to grow and develop further, I don’t see that it would be a problem for him to stretch out farther.”

Though the Juvenile was the first win of Good Magic’s career, Brown believes it should be good enough to win an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old, considering he beat Bolt d’Oro on his home track.

“I know it was his first win, but he did run a good second in another Grade 1, the Champagne, and in their only head-to-head match-up he beat the other horse soundly over a track that he’s already run at,” Brown said. “Not only had [Good Magic] not run over it, Good Magic’s never breezed on it and he beat him convincingly. I don’t think he left any doubt about who the best 2-year-old colt is.”

Good Magic earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for the Juvenile victory.

Mick Ruis, the owner-trainer of Bolt d’Oro, naturally disagrees with Brown. He said his colt is the only one with two Grade 1 victories - the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner - and felt his horse ran a very good third in the Juvenile despite a less-than-ideal trip. Bolt d’Oro, breaking from post 11, was wide throughout and had to settle for third in the Juvenile, beaten 5 1/4 lengths while finishing 8 1/4 lengths clear of fourth-place finisher Givemeaminit.

“I’m not taking anything away from [Good Magic], that horse was the winner, but I was proud of what Bolt did,” Ruis said. “He was coming towards the end, but with that short stretch at Del Mar it’s pretty hard to overcome what he went through in the beginning.”

Ruis said he would give Bolt d’Oro 60 days off and point to the San Felipe Stakes, typically run in March, at Santa Anita. Ruis would use the San Felipe as a steppingstone to the Santa Anita Derby, in April, at Santa Anita.

Solomini, the Juvenile runner-up, could be considered for the Grade 1 Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity on Dec. 9, trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday.

However, Baffert also has the impressive maiden winner McKinzie for that race.

In the Juvenile, Solomini chased U S Navy Flag through a half-mile in 46.75 seconds, made the lead around the middle of the turn, but was no match for Good Magic in the stretch.

“He’s getting better, he had to do all the dirty work,” Baffert said. “The fact he held second, taking all that heat, shows a lot of quality there.”

The biggest disappointment of the Juvenile was Free Drop Billy, the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity winner who finished ninth, beaten 29 1/4 lengths. Trainer Dale Romans did not offer an excuse for Free Drop Billy.

“He was sitting in a perfect spot and didn’t make any run,” Romans said. “We’ll regroup and get him back for next year.”