Trainer Chad Brown called the Saturday breeze by champion and Toyota Blue Grass (G2) winner Good Magic “outstanding” after the Curlin colt worked 4 furlongs in :48 with exercise rider Walter Malasquez aboard.
Keeneland clockers caught Good Magic galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:00 and 6 furlongs in 1:14.
The move marked Good Magic's first breeze since he won the Toyota Blue Grass two weeks earlier and prepares to make his next start in two weeks in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1).
“The horse is moving great,” Brown said. “He was well within himself. His time's perfect – what I was looking for. It was well executed. I give my rider, Walter Malasquez, credit – they have good chemistry together. It's a team effort. I couldn't be happier with how (Good Magic is) doing.”
Brown said he plans to ship Good Magic to Churchill Sunday “and give him a nice full week of training. He'll have his last work at Churchill.”
— Keeneland Racing (@keenelandracing) April 21, 2018
Good Magic, a $1 million purchase at Keeneland's 2016 September Yearling Sale, races for e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and breeder Stonestreet Stables. The colt has two wins in five starts, including the 2017 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1).
He made his 2018 debut March 3 in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park and finished third behind Promises Fulfilled. Brown admitted he was disappointed in the performance, but he recognized the value in the experience.
“That race was an important building block to get here today to see him not only win the Blue Grass and you saw the work today – it was outstanding,” he said. “It's all been a progression.”
The 8-5 favorite in the Toyota Blue Grass, Good Magic and regular rider Jose Ortiz won the race by 1½ lengths and Brown said he “saw a fitter, stronger horse. I saw him finally prepared to go on and run a race the way we know he's capable of like in the Breeders' Cup last year. It was a really good performance, and he came out of it great.”
Two weeks before the Kentucky Derby, Brown is pleased with how Good Magic has trained at Keeneland.
“We're really confident that this horse is coming into the (Derby) the right way,” he said. “We're confident (that) if he continues training as he is now, he'll run the best race of his life. Whether that's good enough (to win) remains to be seen – and if he has the racing luck necessary to win a race like the Derby. It's the strongest field I've ever been involved with in the handful of times I've run in the race. It's a tall order, but I think we have one of the main contenders.”
On Saturday, Brown also worked e Five Racing's undefeated Rushing Fall, who won the Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association on opening Sunday of the Spring Meet. The filly breezed 4 furlongs in :49.60.
“She had a little easy maintenance move,” Brown said. “No plans for her (next race) yet, but what I can tell you is she's going to fly to New York tomorrow. I just wanted her to stretch her legs a little bit before she got on the plane. She's another one who loves Keeneland, so I wanted to take advantage of that before we left.
“Hopefully, she'll be back in the fall for the Queen Elizabeth (II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane's End-G1).”
Greg Hall and SAYJAY Racing's Blended Citizen, currently on the outside looking in toward a spot in the 144th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) in two weeks, worked 5 furlongs in company in :59:40 over a fast track Saturday morning after the maintenance break.
With Gary Stevens aboard for trainer Doug O'Neill, Blended Citizen started a couple of lengths in back of Shane Zain, drew even in the stretch and inched ahead at the wire before galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:11.40.
“The farther the better for him,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to O'Neill. “He galloped out well and Gary was happy with him. He said he really got going after the wire.”
Fifth behind Good Magic in the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) in his most recent start, Blended Citizen is 24th in the point standings used to determine the Kentucky Derby field that is limited to the top 20 point earners that pass the entry box on May 1.
“He will work again here Saturday,” Sisterson said of Blended Citizen, who will need four defections from the horses ahead of him to make the field. Kyle Frey will have the mount in the Derby should Blended Citizen make the field.
After the next work, Sisterson said Blended Citizen would go to Churchill Downs along with his Saturday morning workmate. Shane Zain, seventh in the Sunland Derby (G3) in his most recent start, is being pointed to the $300,000 Pat Day Mile (G3) on May 5.
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