by Jerry Shottenkirk
March 2, 2018
As far as maiden wins go, Good Magic’s had style that is just difficult to top.
E Five Racing and Stonestreet’s Curlin colt made his 3rd career start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and came away with a 4 1-4-length win. As far as timing goes, that was perfect for a first victory.
Good Magic starts his 2018 campaign today in the Grade 2 $400,000 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The race anchors the late Pick 4, which has 0% Takeout for Xpressbet players.
Trainer Chad Brown always has a plan, and through a series of works has Good Magic ready for his return. He’s the 7-to-5 morning line favorite in a talented lineup. Good Magic lost his debut in a maiden race at Saratoga but showed enough run to put him in the Grade 1 Champagne, and he responded with a second-place finish behind Firenze Fire. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile marked his 1st two-turn attempt and he passed the test in flying colors. He scored an 11-1 upset and in a matter of months after his first start recovered the $1 million investment his owners forwarded in the Keeneland September sale of 2016.
If there’s a time to take a chance against Good Magic, this could be it. It’s his first since November and he has plenty of capable competition today. But leaving him off your Pick 4 ticket will take a level of courage I, personally, can’t come up with today.
The most interesting of those is Strike Power, a Courtlandt Farms homebred with two very sharp wins in as many starts. He broke his maiden two days before Christmas as he ran off to an easy eight-length triump in 1:02 3-5 for 5.5 furlongs. He went right to graded stakes company and responded on Feb. 3 with a 2 3-4-length win as the 4-to-5 favorite in the G3 Swale. Trainer Mark Hennig sends the Speightstown colt around two turns for the first time and is will be great drama to see to him if he can take his obvious speed and hold it together for 1 1-16th miles.
Another set for an interesting run if Free Drop Billy, who was second but was no match for Audible in the G2 Holy Bull here on Feb. 3. He couldn’t come close to catching Audible but was nearly eight lengths of the third-place horse. It was his first since the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which provided the only blemish on his otherwise impressive form. It wasn’t his day as he gave way early on and finished ninth.
Here’s the suggested Pick 4 ticket:
Race 11: #1 Personal Time, #9 Travelling Midas
Race 12: #1 Extravagant Kid, #6 Favorable Outcome
Race 13: #1 Sadler’s Joy, #3 One Go All Go, #6 Gold Shield, #7 Bernay, #12 Oscar Nominated
Race 14: #2 Free Drop Billy, #4 Strike Power, #6 Good Magic, #8 Marconi
50-cent Pick 4: 1-9 with 1-6 with 1-3-6-7-12 with 1-4-6-8 ($40).