By Jarrod Horak
The 2023 Preakness Stakes has eight entrants and sire Good Magic is responsible for three of those runners including Kentucky Derby winner Mage. He also has Perform and Blazing Sevens. Is it possible for all three of those runners to finish in the trifecta? Stranger things have happened.
Good Magic was the 2-year-old champion in 2017. He finished second in the Champagne Stakes in his second career start, and picked up his first career win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Those strong efforts in the Grade 1 ranks were enough to earn him the juvenile title.
He made his sophomore debut in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and chugged along for the show in a useful effort. He bounced back with a nice victory in the Blue Grass Stakes in his final Derby prep. I used him prominently in all of my Kentucky Derby wagers, and he gamely chased Justify in a fine runner-up finish. Chad Brown brought him back two weeks later in the Preakness and he was my top choice. He hooked up with Justify from the opening bell and those two battled all the way around. Good Magic did all of the pace dirty work and got a bit weary late in a close-up fourth place finish. He won the Grade 1 Haskell later that summer and retired after finishing off the board in the Travers.
Good Magic is a son of Curlin, out of stakes-winning dam Glenda the Good. Curlin was third in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, first in the Preakness, and second in the Belmont Stakes. He also won the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic and 2008 Dubai World Cup. As a stallion, Curlin is responsible for Derby runner-up and Preakness hero Exaggerator, Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, and Travers hero Keen Ice, along with Grade 1 winners Clairiere, Cody’s Wish, Malathaat, Nest, Vino Rosso, and many others. Good Magic’s dam sire Hard Spun was second in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, third in the Preakness, and fourth in the Belmont Stakes. He has had 15 Grade 1 winners and his son Two Phil’s finished a gallant second in this year’s Kentucky Derby after chasing blazing fractions.
Good Magic’s first crop really took off on the Derby trail this year. He started with 2022 Iroquois Stakes winner Curly Jack, Champagne winner Blazing Sevens, and Remsen hero Dubyuhnell, and it only got better from there. Reincarnate won the Sham and was third in the Rebel and Arkansas Derby earlier this year. Perform captured the Federico Tesio Stakes and Mage followed up a place finish in the Florida Derby with a win in the Kentucky Derby.
Mage is the horse to beat in the Preakness. He is lightly raced and still has upside, but he starts slow in his races and probably won’t get the pace meltdown that he enjoyed under the Twin Spires. He will probably win at Pimlico if he runs as fast as he did at Churchill Downs.
Blazing Sevens appears to be sitting on a top effort for Chad Brown. He was Good Magic’s trainer as well, and he saddled 2017 Preakness winner Cloud Computing and 2022 Preakness hero Early Voting. Last year’s Champagne winner has been slow to come around this year. He added blinkers and finished an improved third in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 8, and has been training forwardly in advance of the second jewel of the Triple Crown. He will probably try to strike from midpack in Baltimore.
Perform is a late developing colt for Shug McGaughey. He was so slow to develop that they did not even nominate him to the Triple Crown Series. He finally graduated in his sixth career start in a dit route at Tampa Bay Downs on March 11, and he weaved through traffic and finished with a flourish to take the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park on April 15. The late runner has gotten good in a hurry and his connections decided to supplement him to the Preakness for $150,000.
Mage is the most highly regarded of the Good Magic runners in the Preakness, and Blazing Sevens is the only other Grade 1 winner in the field. Perform is clearly on the upswing and all three are worth using in the Pimlico showcase. Box the three Good Magic colts in the Preakness and enjoy the ride!
Preakness 2023 field with morning line odds:
1 – National Treasure (4-1)
2 – Chase the Chase (50-1)
3 – Mage (8-5)
4 – Coffeewithchris (20-1)
5 – Red Route One (10-1)
6 – Perform (15-1)
7 – Blazing Sevens (6-1)
8 – First Mission (5-2)