10/29/2014 11:42AM

Magician withdrawn from Breeders' Cup Turf

Tom Keyser
Magician won the 2013 Breeders' Cup Turf but won't be defending his title on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Magician, winner of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Turf, was withdrawn from Saturday’s running of the BC Turf at Santa Anita because of lameness, trainer Aidan O’Brien said on Wednesday.

O’Brien said the lameness was detected in Magician’s right foreleg when he was taken out of his stall in the quarantine barn.

“When he came out for a trot, he was acutely lame,” O’Brien said. “It’s very disappointing. We were looking forward to it.”

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Magician, 4, is the third winner of a 2013 Breeders’ Cup race to be withdrawn from the Breeders’ Cup because of illness or injury in recent weeks. Wise Dan, the Horse of the Year in 2012 and 2013, was withdrawn from consideration for the BC Mile earlier in October because of an ankle injury. Beholder was not pre-entered to defend her title in the BC Distaff because of illness detected on Oct. 18.

Magician, 4, has won 5 of 14 starts and earned $2,580,402. Owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Susan Magnier, Magician won the Irish 2000 Guineas in 2013 before his win in the BC Turf. This year, Magician had one victory in six starts, the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh in Ireland in May. He was second in the Arlington Million on Aug. 16, his most recent start.

O’Brien said Magician had been training well.

“We thought he was coming back to his form in the Guineas and Breeders’ Cup last year,” he said.

The absence of Magician leaves the BC Turf over 1 1/2 miles with a field of 12 led by Flintshire, the runner-up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Oct. 5; Telescope, a winner at Royal Ascot in June; and Main Sequence, who has won three Grade 1 races this year, all in New York or New Jersey.

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Mickey More than 1 year ago
BC horses dropping like flies....could possibly be the worst fields ever assembled (for the races itself)...what a shame...
KENNETH ENGLISH More than 1 year ago
How sad for everyone involved. He was my pick for Turf same as last year.