DEL MAR, Calif. -- Despite the fact Good Magic was still a maiden, trainer Chad Brown had the confidence in the colt's ability to send him cross-country and run him in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile against one of the heaviest favorites on the card.
That confidence was rewarded Saturday at Del Mar, as Good Magic, receiving a dream trip under Jose Ortiz, stormed to a 4 1/2-length victory over Solomini in the Juvenile at Del Mar. It was one length back to Bolt d'Oro, the 3-5 favorite, who suffered his first career defeat from four starts.
Bolt d'Oro was third by 8 1/2 lengths over Givemeaminit, who was followed, in order, by The Tabulator, Hollywood Star, Firenze Fire, Hazit, Free Drop Billy, U S Navy Flag, Golden Dragon, and Bahamian.
Good Magic is owned in partnership by Stonestreet Stables and Bob Edwards' e Five Racing Thoroughbreds. On Friday, Edwards won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with Rushing Fall, also trained by Brown.
"This is ridiculous," Edwards said as he walked toward the winner's circle. "This is surreal, right? This is our second year racing, our third Breeders' Cup victory. At this point, I'm going to do a dispersal in January and get involved in NASCAR."
Well, that may actually have to wait until next spring.
Good Magic, a son of Curlin who brought $1 million as a yearling, had finished second in his debut at Saratoga and second in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont. Brown felt the horse would improve with racing and with getting stretched out around two turns.
That's exactly what happened.
Breaking from post 6 under Ortiz, Good Magic tucked into the second flight of horses, just outside the Tabulator and about 2 1/2 lengths behind U S Navy Flag and Solomini, who sparred on the lead through a half-mile in 46.75 seconds.
Around the far turn, Solomini put U S Navy Flag away and began to open up. Approaching the quarter pole, Good Magic split horses and moved into second. Good Magic took over from Solomini inside the three-sixteenths pole and drew off emphatically.
Good Magic covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.34 and returned $25 to win.
"It went the way Chad drew it up for me; he said break good, sit, and when you make your move be ready to be outside because he didn't like the way the track was playing inside," Ortiz said. "I waited and I go around the horse in front of me. I had the opportunity to go inside, but I stuck with the plan and went outside. It was the best move obviously."
Brown said the way Good Magic had trained since the Champagne gave him the confidence to run him in the Juvenile, believing the risk was greater than the reward.
"It seemed like everything was pointing in the direction of taking a shot here," Brown said. "With 2-year-olds, they can develop so rapidly you don't know which month or two, all of a sudden they're going to get stronger, grow a little bit, gain that experience they need. Certainly getting the horse out to two turns seemed like it helped this horse."
Corey Nakatani, on Bolt d'Oro, thought the inside part of the main track was the best part, but he could never get over there after breaking a step slow from post 11.
"I kept trying to save a little ground and get inside where the track seemed like they had it tightened it up a little better, but I couldn't get there," Nakatani said. "But it's horse racing, I know he's going to live and fight on to be a very good horse. We'll live to fight another day."