Coteau Grove Farms’ Touch Magic
, purchased recently by her present connections, proved herself worthy of the buy by winning Saturday’s $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes on Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots by three-quarters of a length over Iroquois Racing Club’s favored Gal About Town.
The Silverbulletday is the first leg of Fair Grounds’ three-race series for sophomore fillies that will conclude with the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on Louisiana Derby Day, March 30. The Silverbulletday is also part of the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series, a 35-race series awarding points to the top four finishers in each race, with the point totals used to determine spots in the Kentucky Oaks starting gate.
“She was purchased because she hadn’t done anything wrong and now she still hasn’t,” said winning trainer Pat Devereux Jr. “She came through for us today.”
Allowed to settle just behind the early leaders, Touch Magic rallied inside those when set down for the drive, took command at the sixteenth pole and out-fought Gal About Town the rest of the way.
“She did everything right,” said winning rider James Graham. “When I worked her a couple of weeks back she went really well and finished strong. She did again today. Perfect trip. Finished well and galloped out good.”
Touch Magic returned mutuels of $9, $4 and $2.80, increased her career earnings to $208,200 with her third victory from five career starts and toured the mile and 70-yard distance in 1:45 flat.
Gal About Town, always well placed, took command at the eighth pole, could not withstand the winner but was clearly second best, finishing a length to the good of Fox Hill Farm’s Smitten. Gal About Town returned $3.20 and $2.40 and Smitten paid $3.20 to show.