It took four attempts, but Magic Circle finally secured the first stakes win of her young career, posting a dominant victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Busanda S. at Aqueduct.
The 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Oaks qualifier attracted half a dozen entries, with Magic Circle favored at 1.05-1 after finishing fourth in the Frizette S. (G1), second in the Tempted S., and third in the Demoiselle S. (G2) on the New York circuit. Suffice to say, Magic Circle ran to her odds.
The outcome was never seriously in doubt. Under Jose Ortiz, Magic Circle recovered from a bump at the break to secure an uncontested lead through fractions of :24.38, :48.28, and 1:12.12. In front by five lengths at the eighth pole, Magic Circle had more than enough left to stem off late runner Morning Matcha and prevail by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:51.29.
“She broke really sharp and put me there by herself,” Ortiz told the New York Racing Association. “She was traveling very nicely the first quarter. She was pulling me a little too much. I was a little bit nervous and I just wanted to put my hands down and relax and she finally did passing the seven furlongs. When she entered the backside she was completely relaxed and going a very decent cruising speed. She didn’t walk the dog but the track is fast and inside is good, so I wasn’t afraid to let her go.”
Morning Matcha finished clearly second best over fellow closer Reigning Chick, followed by Rosebug, Waters of Merom, and Gamestonks.
The Busanda awarded Kentucky Oaks qualification points to the top four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 basis. Having previously earned points in the Frizette and Demoiselle, Magic Circle has accumulated a total of 13 points, good enough to rank third on the qualification leaderboard.
Bred in Kentucky by Manitou Farm, Magic Circle is a daughter of Kantharos out of the Distorted Humor mare Magic Humor. Rudy Rodriguez conditions the chestnut three-year-old on behalf of J.W. Singer, and they’ll soon be constructing a game plan for the remainder of Magic Circle’s winter campaign. Possibilities include the March 5 Busher S. and the April 9 Gazelle S. (G3), both at Aqueduct.
“I’m going to talk to the owner about that and decide what we are going to do,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know. You never know. Right now she’s learning, so we just have to hope for the best.”