Show Some Magic, a maiden winner at Saratoga Race Course in August, broke through against winners for the first time in the $106,000 Riley Allison Futurity (VIDEO) Dec. 23 at Sunland Park in New Mexico.
Ridden by Miguel Hernandez, the 6-5 favorite in the field of eight juveniles held off 23-1 shot Stormdriver through the homestretch for a half-length victory. The final time was 1:38.19 on a fast track.
Show Some Magic made it back-to-back wins in the Allison Futurity for owners Kirk and Judy Robison and trainer Henry Dominguez, who took over the colt's conditioning duties from Steve Asmussen about a month ago. The Robisons and Dominguez won last year's race with Isn't He Clever, who went on to win the Borderland Derby (renamed the Mine That Bird Derby this year) and finish second in the Sunland Derby (gr. III).
The winner, who drifted out through the lane, had to withstand an inquiry by stewards and a claim of foul from the jockey on Stormdriver, Kevin Eikleberry.
"This was his goal. He's a real attractive horse, and we thought we could do some damage with him," Dominguez said.
The Mine That Bird Derby, worth $130,000, is Feb. 23. It is followed by the $800,000 Sunland Derby March 24.
Racing third on the outside of pacesetter I Stand Alone and Holiday Mischief, Show Some Magic launched his bid early on the final turn to take the lead near the quarter pole. The chestnut colt had control in upper stretch but had to dig in for the final furlong as the outsider Stormdriver made a determined challenge.
Show Some Magic, drifting despite right-handed urging from Hernandez, inched ahead in deep stretch and held sway in the final strides. Quarter-mile fractions were reported as :21.71, :47.25, and 1:11.95, meaning the final quarter was run in 26.24 seconds.
Kirk Robison said he and Dominguez picked Show Some Magic, a Kentucky-bred son of Any Given Saturday, out of the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale for $70,000.
"We thought he'd be good from the get-go. Broke his maiden at Saratoga, so you know he's got to be a pretty good horse to do that," Robison said. "We brought him here with the objective of winning the Sunland Derby. He had to work pretty darn hard that last eighth, but he got it done."
Bred by Woodford Thoroughbreds out of the graded stakes-placed Real Quiet mare Whirlwind Charlott, Show Some Magic began his career at Churchill Downs with a pair of maiden special weight efforts during the spring, including a runner-up effort for Asmussen June 17. After running second again in his first try at Saratoga, he graduated in his fourth start in front-running style as a 4-5 choice Aug. 16.
Show Some Magic showed up next in the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and finished fifth behind Shanghai Bobby at 25-1 before heading to Louisiana. After a sixth-place showing in the Jean Lafitte Stakes, Show Some Magic finished last of nine at 62-1 in the Delta Jackpot (gr. III) in his most recent start Nov. 17.
The Allison Futurity victory improved his career mark to 2-2-0 in eight starts with earnings of $162,110.
Under equal weights of 120 pounds, Show Some Magic paid $4.60, $3.60, $2.80. Turf Paradise shipper Stormdriver paid $13.20 and $5 as part of a $110.60 exacta. Stoneridge Gold rallied from last for Jake Barton to nail down the show spot, paying $3.