Good Magic romps in $1 million Haskell at Monmouth Park
By MIKE FARRELL
OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) Good Magic, the 1-2 favorite, rolled to a three-length victory in the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Sunday at Monmouth Park.
The colt, ridden by Jose Ortiz and trained by Chad Brown, took command on the final turn and opened a clear lead on the way to the third win in an eight-race career.
"The horse was training great," Brown said. "Jose gave him an excellent trip. Everything worked out perfect. You definitely feel pressure but when you have a good horse like him, he's easy to train, and he makes my job easy."
It was the first Haskell victory for Brown and Ortiz.
The race unfolded with 45-1 shot Roaming Union taking the lead with Good Magic, caught a bit wide initially, settling comfortably into second.
He was poised, simply waiting for the signal from Ortiz to pounce. Turned loose, Good Magic surged by the tiring leader and approached the 37,186 fans in the grandstand in total command.
Only Bravazo, the Preakness runner-up, took up the chase in the lane. Although never close to the winner, Bravazo finished six lengths clear of third-place finisher Lone Sailor.
For Good Magic, this was his first start since the Preakness where he pressed the pace in the slop against ultimate winner Justify before finishing fourth.
Justify, retired last week with an ankle injury, went on to complete the sweep of the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.
With the Haskell win, Good Magic is positioned to assume the leadership role among the active 3-year-olds. Last year's Eclipse Award winner as champion juvenile will next head to Saratoga for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes on Aug. 25, according to Brown.
"We'll go Saratoga tomorrow and get him settled in up there and see how he trains," Brown said. "We've always put the horse first. Every time we've run this horse, the horse has taken us to the race. We'll let him do that again, hopefully in the Travers."
Good Magic paid $3, $2.40 and $2.10 as the popular choice on a sunny afternoon at the Jersey Shore.
Bravazo returned $4 and $2.60. Lone Sailor paid $2.60 to show.
Core Beliefs was fourth followed by Golden Brown, Roaming Union and Navy Commander.
The victory was worth $600,000 for owners Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables.
The time was 1:50.01 for the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track.
Updated July 29, 2018