07/09/2013 2:00PM

Hollywood Park: Meydan Magic on the rise entering Thursday allowance


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – O K Topless was a $10,000 claim that did not pan out. A three-time winner, she was injured soon after being claimed in fall 2006.

Owner-trainer Julio Canani was stuck. The filly’s racing days were over.

“She was a beautiful mare,” Canani recalled. “So I decided to breed her.”

Good move. Canani bred her three times to a horse that he trained, Tribal Rule, a son of Storm Cat who became a leading California sire.

As for O K Topless, she is well on her way to becoming quite the successful broodmare.

Her first foal was two-time stakes winner Ruler of Dubai, unraced in nearly two years but recently back in training. O K Topless’s second foal is Meydan Magic, impressive maiden winner moving up in class Thursday in the race-7 feature at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Nine California-bred colts and geldings race one mile on turf in the allowance/optional $25,000 claiming race. The field includes stretch-out Toledo Eddie, front-runner Pulpit’s Express, veteran Unusual Jazz, habitual runner-up Turn On the Pumps, comebacker Christopher Street, Golden Gate shippers Uncle Dick and Unusual Lover, and Pocket Prince.

While the hike from maiden to allowance is among the most difficult in racing, it has not derailed Canani. The past five years, he is 7 for 23 on turf with last-out maiden winners moving up the ladder.

Meydan Magic, improving in each start, will try to repeat the pattern.

Fifth with a wide trip in his debut, he was third next out and third again while stretching to two turns. He put it all together in his fourth start when rated off the pace. “He just exploded; he won easy,” Canani said.

It was a 3 1/2-length win over a soft field of statebred maidens. Meydan Magic was flattered by the soft competition. On Thursday, he and jockey Martin Garcia face a tougher group, but one within reach.

Toledo Eddie made his career debut one year ago Thursday at Boise, winning a maiden race and later a pair of $13,000 stakes at Boise and Elko County. A sprinter stretching to two turns for trainer Craig Dollase and jockey Rafael Bejarano, Toledo Eddie has won 5 of 12.

Last out, he finished a sharp second versus similar.

Late-runner Christopher Street returns from a layoff of more than seven months for trainer Marty Jones, while speedster Pulpit’s Express is the front-end threat. He set wild fractions last out (46.31 opening half), opened up by four lengths, but hit a wall and finished third by a neck. If he rations his speed, he could be gone.

Seven of the last eight turf races at one mile were won either by setting the pace or racing within one length of the lead. The profile suits Pulpit’s Express.Meydan Magic must improve to win the Thursday allowance, but he is going the right way. So is his family.A 2-year-old full brother to Meydan Magic named Dubai Ruler is nearing his debut for Canani, and the broodmare O K Topless finally produced a filly. The unnamed yearling was sired by San Rafael and Sham winner The Pamplemousse. Stay tuned.