Champion, Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic retired to stud

Sep 24, 2018 Kellie Reilly/

Last year’s champion two-year-old colt Good Magic, who sparred valiantly with Justify in the first two jewels of the Triple Crown, has been retired to stud. He will now stand alongside his sire, Hall of Famer Curlin, at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms near Lexington, Kentucky.

“It is a bittersweet day,” co-owner Bob Edwards said in the press release. “Good Magic had a tremendous effect on my family, friends, our racing connections and his fans. His heart and determination were second to none. Good Magic was a consummate professional throughout his racing career.  My family and I look forward to seeing his offspring race at the highest level.”

Bought by Edwards’ e Five Racing for $1 million at Keeneland September, Good Magic was consigned to the yearling sale by Hill ‘n’ Dale as agent for his breeder, Stonestreet. But Stonestreet then teamed up with e Five Racing as co-owners of the good-looking chestnut, who flashed promise right away.

Read about Good Magic’s background in “Tales from the Crib”

After a runner-up effort on debut at Saratoga, the Chad Brown trainee just missed by a half-length in the Champagne (G1). Good Magic advanced to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) as a maiden, and excelling in his first try around two turns, he rolled to a 4 1/4-length victory. His maiden-breaking score also netted him an Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old male.

Good Magic was upset in his three-year-old bow in the Fountain of Youth (G2), finishing third as the 3-5 favorite, but needed the race to enhance his fitness. Next time in the Blue Grass (G2), he performed up to expectations by driving to a 1 1/2-length decision.

In the Kentucky Derby (G1), Good Magic took a run at Justify in upper stretch and pursued him to the wire as a game runner-up. Regular rider Jose Ortiz attempted a new tactic in the Preakness (G1), serving it up to Justify in a no-holds-barred pace duel. Justify withstood the pressure, while Good Magic was a hard-trying fourth, beaten only a length.

Brown decided to skip the Belmont (G1), believing that the 1 1/2-mile distance was too far for Good Magic, and freshen him up for the Haskell Invitational (G1). The plan worked to perfection as Good Magic galloped home by three lengths at Monmouth Park.

Just when Good Magic appeared ready to reclaim his divisional leadership in the absence of Justify, he threw in the only poor effort of his life in the Travers (G1). It turned out that he was sick, exiting the “Midsummer Derby” with an infection that sent him to the sidelines. Initial reports suggested he’d get a vacation, but Monday’s news confirmed he’d run his last race.

Good Magic amassed $2,945,000 in earnings from a record of 9-3-3-1.

“Good Magic showed incredible talent and durability as I put him through the most demanding campaign of any horse I've ever trained,” Brown commented. “He's an extremely rare colt and should make a top stallion.”

Stonestreet’s Barbara Banke paid tribute to her homebred son of Curlin, himself a star for Stonestreet on the racetrack.

“Good Magic is the embodiment of the breeding philosophy we have at Stonestreet,” Banke said. “We are proud to stand a champion son of our two-time Horse of the Year Curlin.”

Hill ‘n’ Dale President John G. Sikura is likewise enthusiastic about Good Magic’s potential.

“Good Magic is a fantastic addition to our stallion roster,” Sikura said.

“It is rare indeed for a champion two-year-old to retain his Grade 1 form at three, which was witnessed by Good Magic's narrow defeat by super horse Justify in the Kentucky Derby. 

“We sold Good Magic for breeder Stonestreet for $1 million as a yearling and he was a beautiful horse. I remember him as medium sized, a great mover and completely correct.

“Valiant, supremely talented and by Curlin, breeders will love him.”

Good Magic’s introductory stud fee has been set at $30,000.

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