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Magician Possible for Arlington Million

Magician wins the Breeders' Cup Turf!
Photo: Don August
Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier’s Magician is now possible to make the trip from his Irish base of Ballydoyle and the yard of trainer Aidan O’Brien for the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million on Aug. 16.  The son of Galileo would be making his first start in America since pulling off a 12-1 upset in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf last November - defeating recently retired star mare The Fugue in the process.

Since the Breeders’ Cup, the son of Galileo has proven victorious in only one of five starts, the Group III Mooresbridge Stakes at The Curragh on May 5, and has two seconds and two off-the-board finishes in his four other attempts - all in Group I company.  Included was a runner-up finish in the Tattersalls Gold Cup behind fellow Million possible Noble Mission on May 25, as well as same placing in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, where The Fugue got her revenge.  It is worth noting that the Irish-bred 4-year-old’s aforementioned three best performances this year all came at the Million’s 1¼-miles distance.

A lover of firm going, Magician did not appreciate the good going at Ascot Racecourse last time, while finishing a distant sixth in the Group I King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes behind sophomore filly phenom Taghrooda, while also giving the winner 15 pounds.  His performance in November at Santa Anita was on that course’s typical firm ground and his marquee victory before November was in the classic Group I Irish 2000 Guineas over a mile of good-to-firm going at The Curragh in May 2013.

If Magician joins the field, he will be part of a star-studded event that already likely includes defending champion Real Solution - whom he soundly defeated at Santa Anita - as well as Canadian Horse of the Year Up with the Birds, globetrotting Group I-placed French horse Smoking Sun and Grade I Secretariat Stakes winner Admiral Kitten.

Magician’s three aforementioned owners have won a combined three prior editions of the Million.  In 1997, Tabor’s Marlin made all the running in a sharp victory for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.  In 2005, Magnier’s Powerscourt won the marquee Chicagoland event and she teamed with Tabor, Smith and Mrs. Fitriani Hay to decisively capture the meet centerpiece with Cape Blanco in 2011.  Both Powerscourt and Cape Blanco were trained by O’Brien.

 

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