Named 2-year-old champion male despite only a single win, Good Magic established himself as a leading contender for the 2018 Kentucky Derby recording a dominant maiden-breaking tally in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar. He will receive the first tune-up when opening his 3-year-old season in Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Installed as the 7-5 favorite on the morning line, Good Magic drew favorably in post 6 for his first appearance in 119 days and Jose Ortiz has the return call for Chad Brown. The 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth is worth a total of 85 points (50-20-10-5) as a Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier.
The $1 million yearling purchase opened his racing career with a close second in a Saratoga maiden race and Good Magic jumped to stakes company with a fine second in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park. The chestnut son of Curlin offered an eye-catching move to the lead leaving the far turn of the Juvenile and rolled home to a 4 ¼-length decision, registering excellent BRIS Speed (105) and Late Pace (109) numbers.
Strike Power will try to carry his speed two turns as the likely pacesetter. A convincing winner from a pair of starts, the Mark Hennig-trained Speightstown colt exits a 2 ¾-length score in 7-furlong Swale (G3) and leading rider Luis Saez retains the mount on the early 4-1 second choice.
Free Drop Billy will also try to capitalize upon a recency edge, posting a respectable second in the February 3 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream, and the Grade 1-winning juvenile is one of three in the Fountain of Youth field for Dale Romans. Robby Albarado replaces Saez aboard the son of Union Rags and Free Drop Billy is pegged at 9-2 on the morning line.
Last-out allowance victor Storm Runner and Promises Fulfilled, who makes his first start since a third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), also represent Romans. They are listed as outsiders at 15-1 and 20-1, respectively.
Todd Pletcher will send out Marconi, a $2 million Tapit colt who finished third making his stakes debut in the February 3 Withers (G3). The half-brother to 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Mucho Macho Man will make his first start outside of Aqueduct and Javier Castellano retakes the mount.
Rounding out the field are Swale runner-up Gotta Go; recent maiden winners Machismo and He Takes Charge; and Peppered, who must show more after an unplaced effort in his first dirt start.