Good Magic tops 14-horse Blue Grass

Apr 04, 2018 by James Scully/

Good Magic came up short when opening 2018 in the March 3 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park, checking in an even third as the 3-5 favorite, but the champion 2-year-old male will look to make amends and reestablish himself as a major Kentucky Derby contender when he makes his final tune-up in the $1 million Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland.

One of seven major qualifiers, the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass awards a total of 170 points (100-40-20-10 scale) toward a Kentucky Derby berth and Good Magic is currently ranked 15th with 34 points.

Conditioned by Chad Brown, the Curlin colt has been established as the 2-1 morning line favorite among 14 rivals and regular rider Jose Ortiz has the call. Good Magic will break from post 11.

Free Drop Billy recorded his last win at Keeneland, posting a four-length decision in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) during the fall, and the Dale Romans-trained son of Union Rags has opened this season with a second in the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park and a third in the Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct. Irad Ortiz Jr. takes over the reins aboard the 5-1 second choice.

Quip and Flameaway, the 1-2 finishers from the March 10 Tampa Bay Derby (G2), come next on the morning line at 6-1. San Vicente (G2) winner Kanthaka ships in from California for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer following a well-beaten third in the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita.

Other runners include juvenile Grade 1 victor Sporting Chance, fifth most recently in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park; Blended Citizen, winner of the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on Turfway Park’s Polytrack; Grade 3-placed Marconi, a Todd Pletcher trainee who adds leading European rider Ryan Moore; Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) runner Tiz Mischief, who is still trying to get on track this season after a pair of disappointing performance; Fountain of Youth fourth-placer Machismo; and stakes winner Gotta Go.

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