DEL MAR, Calif. — Two-year-old colt Good Magic introduced himself as a Kentucky Derby contender Saturday by making the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile the first victory of his career.
"Yahoo," said breeder Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Farms when asked about becoming part of the Kentucky Derby picture.
Overlooked at odds of 11-1 in a field of 12 in the race that in recent years crowned the 2-year-old champion and stamp the early Kentucky Derby favorite, Good Magic did nothing to surprise his trainer, Chad Brown.
"I thought he was a winner every step of the way," said Brown. "We took a shot because he was a maiden, but he's developing rapidly."
With a pair of second-place finishes to his credit — the last in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last month — Good Magic rolled by Solomini entering the stretch and ran off to a 4¼-length victory over 11 rivals, with 3-5 favorite Bolt d'Oro finishing third after a troubled trip.
Bolt d'Oro, owned by Mick Ruis of Columbia Falls and named for the champion sprinter Usain Bolt, entered the race a perfect 3-for-3, but was forced extremely wide on the first turn, and while he did move up on the outside on the far turn, his finish was too little too late.
"We were a little wide but it's horse racing and it is part of what is going to happen," said Bolt d'Oro's jockey, Corey Nakatani, whose steed was first trained in Bigfork. "I was trying to get tucked in but with all the traffic, he seemed to be spinning his wheels a little bit."
Gun Runner won the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic by 2¼ lengths Saturday, sending rival Arrogate to a third straight career-ending defeat at Del Mar. Gun Runner ran 1¼ miles in 2:01.29 and paid $6.80, $4.40 and $3.20. Arrogate finished in a dead-heat for fifth with Gunnevera.
In other races:
- Talismatic extended a run of longshot victories at the Breeders' Cup, taking the $4 million Turf at 14-1 odds. Under Mickael Barzalona, Talismanic moved up on the inside on the far turn and overtook Beach Patrol in mid-stretch to win by a half-length in a course-record 2:26.14 for 1½ miles on Del Mar's turf course.
- World Approval won the $2 million Mile. The 5-year-old gray won by 1¼ lengths as the 5-2 favorite after a string of earlier upsets.
- Trainer Peter Miller saddled two winners Saturday — Roy H in the $1.5 million Sprint and Stormy Liberal in the $1.2 million Turf Sprint. Richard's Boy, another Miller horse, finished second in that race; both horses were double-digit longshots.
- Bar of Gold, a 60-1 shot, edged 18-1 Ami's Mesa to win the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint by a nose.
- Wuheida triggered another upset in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf, winning at 11-1 odds as the shortest price in the first four Cup winners Saturday.
- Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith rallied 17-1 shot Caledonia Road in the stretch to win the $2 million Juvenile Fillies by 3¼ lengths.