By winning Saturday's $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2), e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables' champion Good Magic took a successful next step in pursuit of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). The Curlin colt, a $1 million purchase at Keeneland's 2016 September Yearling Sale, and jockey Jose Ortiz won the 1 1/8-mile race by 1½ lengths as the 8-5 favorite.
Good Magic also earned 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and sits atop of the leaderboard with 134 points.
On Sunday morning, trainer Chad Brown said Good Magic came out of the race well.
“We're happy,” Brown said. “Jose worked out a beautiful trip (from post 10), and the horse really responded well. I'm very proud of him.”
Brown said Good Magic would remain at Keeneland for the time being.
“Right now that's my plan,” he said. “He'll have his first breeze back here in a couple weeks then (go) over to Churchill.”
Good Magic's Toyota Blue Grass win was one of three wins Saturday for Brown and Ortiz, who are the respective leading trainer and jockey after the first two days of the Spring Meet. The two also won the third race with Electric Forest and the 11th race with Vegas Kitten.
On Friday, another three-win day for Ortiz, they teamed to win the Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) with William H. Lawrence's undefeated Analyze It. Brown said the July 7 Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) is the target for Analyze It with a possible next start in the Pennine Ridge (G3) June 2.
“We did well,” Brown said about beginning the Spring Meet with four wins, including two graded stakes victories, along with one second and one third in seven starts. “I'm just really grateful that we have the horses good enough to compete at Keeneland each spring. My staff really deserves all the credit. It's been a long winter waiting. You get anxious and you want to run them but you have to be patient and plan their campaigns. Keeneland is a good spot to start some of them. In Good Magic's case, (Keeneland is) a good stop along the way.
“You need to develop these horses and the staff did an outstanding job of bringing a really good-looking group of horses here in fine condition and well-prepared.”
In today's in the Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association, Brown and Ortiz are a team again with e Five's undefeated Rushing Fall in her 2018 debut.
Asked about his own schedule, Brown said he is “taking it day to day. I wish I knew. I love it here. If I can stay, I will. Sometimes duty calls and I have to go back to my other division at Belmont, my home base. Not sure, but I'll be around.”
Trainer Mark Casse said John C. Oxley's Flameaway is doing well after his second-place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass. The colt is to return to Casse's base at Churchill tomorrow and resume training for the Kentucky Derby. Flameaway has 70 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Oxley's Determinant is also in good order after finishing 13th in the 14-horse Toyota Blue Grass field.
“We'll see, I haven't decided what I want to do with (Determinant) yet,” Casse said. “We've got a race picked out for Flameaway.”
Robert Baker and William Mack's Sporting Chance was scheduled to van to Churchill Sunday. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee, who was disqualified from third to fourth because of interference in deep stretch, came out of the race fine, according to Lukas assistant Tyler Peeples.
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