His odds may not have reflected it, but 8-1 Good Magic had never even won a race before Saturday.
That changed in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, as the twice-beaten colt broke his maiden in the most important juvenile race of the year, beating Solomini by an impressive 4 1/4 lengths.
Bolt d’Oro, the overwhelming favorite and superhorse in waiting, will have to wait a little longer after finishing third. The horse was given a terrible ride by jockey Corey Nakatani, who inexplicably took him six horses wide on the clubhouse turn, stayed outside, and then went four wide on the far turn in his attempt to catch the leaders. Analysts say he went an extra two hundred yards farther than the other horses; a good ride may have meant victory for the favorite.
U S Navy Flag and Solomini went through speedy quarters at the beginning of the race as Bolt d’Oro, who got out of the gate slowly, had to settle for seventh place some six lengths back. Good Magic stayed close to the leaders, and when U S Navy Flag began to tire, Good Magic made his move, taking over the lead entering the homestretch. Bolt d’Oro tried to make up ground in the homestretch, but Good Magic had lengthened his lead and could not be caught.
Free Drop Billy, the second favorite, was never a factor and finished ninth.
Of course, very rarely does the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile have any bearing on the Kentucky Derby. Only twice has the Juvenile winner gone on to win the Derby. So let’s see what the 2018 prep season has in store for us.