R. Larry Johnson’s favored Street Magician hit the rail while squeezing through a hole in the stretch, but persevered to win the $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs (gr. III) (VIDEO) for 3-year-olds by one length at Pimlico Saturday.
Under jockey Rafael Bejarano, the Street Magician and the others backed off the scorching pace set by Southwestern Heat as that one blazed the first quarter of a mile in :22.66 and passed the half mile pole in :45.17 while building a five-length advantage. Southwestern Heat, a chestnut colt out of the champion mare Xtra Heat, still had a three-length edge at the top of the lane when Bejarano set the bay son of Street Cry down to business.
Southwestern Heat drifted off the rail in spite of right-handed urging from jockey Eric Comacho, opening up room. Bejarano and Street Magician opted to take the inside. But Southwestern Heat bore in on as they approached the sixteenth pole, partially closing the opening and forced Street Magician to bounce into the rail. Camacho corrected Southwestern Heat and Street Magician re-gathered himself to win going way. in 1:10.97.
“It really wasn’t planned to be that far off the early pace, but we just didn’t get the best of breaks," Bejarano said. "Things got pretty close down the lane when the other horse was coming in a little bit, but my horse didn’t overly react."
Southwestern Heat held second by 2 1/2 lengths over Hobbitontherocks and Ramon Dominguez in third.
Michael Trombetta trains Street Magician, who earned his first graded stakes victory and has won three of five starts. He won the seven-furlong Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream Park earlier this year, but faltered in the one-mile Withers (gr. III) at Aqueduct in his last start April 28, finishing fifth. Street Magician has now earned $165,720.
"Today this horse showed versatility he’d never shown before," Trombetta said. "I’m not sure if he’s a two-turn horse yet, but this was something encouraging.”
Street Magician, a homebred, is out of Magical Meadow, by Meadowlake. He paid $5.60, $3.60 and $2.80.
Southwestern Heat returned $6.60 and $5.
“He broke great, running easy," Camacho said of the runner-up. "Down the lane, I clipped heels with the inside horse and had to angle him off the rail. He ran his heart out.”
Hobbitontherocks was $4.20 to show. Heart Throbbin', Like Mom Like Sons, Finallymadeit and Stormin Baghdad completed the order. Sports Town scratched.