When Good Magic won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year, it was very very good for my bank account. And based on that performance as well as his prior race in the Champagne, I felt he was by far the most likely winner of the 2018 Kentucky Derby. So I made a wager with a friend, at odds of 25-1, that Good Magic would win not one, but two legs of the Triple Crown. And it is my firm belief that had Justify not made it to the races when he did, I would have won that bet. I think Good Magic would have won the Kentucky Derby, and I think the Preakness would have set up completely differently and he’d have won that too. I can’t prove I’m right, but then again no one can prove I’m wrong.
That said, when I watched the video of Churchill Downs track announcer Travis Stone calling the Derby, I noticed that Good Magic nearly stopped as soon as he crossed the wire. At the end of a mile and a quarter race in which he was up close all the way, perhaps that’s easily understandable. And while he DID finish 2nd, and while he was only beaten a length or so in the Preakness, everything that has transpired to this point in his career has left me wondering if Good Magic really wants to go 10 furlongs. Or to put it another way, might the brilliance that I think is within him be given a better chance to shine at shorter distances? Could the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile be a better spot for Good Magic than the Classic?
I expect Good Magic to win the Haskell tomorrow. Everyone does. And then I suppose he’ll go to the Travers. And he can win that too I guess. But as a card-carrying member of the Good Magic Fan Club, it would not upset me at all to see him pointed for the BC Dirt Mile. Battle of Midway shortened up last year and won it. Good Magic can too.