Magic Weisner's Comeback Abandoned

(from Pimlico release)
Magic Weisner, the Maryland-bred who nearly won the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at 45-1 in 2002 has been retired, Nancy Alberts, his trainer, owner, breeder and exercise rider announced Saturday.

"I decided a couple weeks ago when I worked him against this filly ... (Rudy's Dee Dee), the slowest filly in my barn and she whipped him from the gate," said Alberts. "And he tried. He just didn't have the power in the hind end to push off."

Magic Weisner won three stakes races in Maryland three years ago and rallied from far back to finish just three-quarters of a length behind War Emblem in the Preakness. He came back three weeks later and finished a game fourth in the Belmont Stakes, his only out of the money finish all year. The gelding won the Ohio Derby (gr. II) and was second to War Emblem in the Haskell (gr. I) at Monmouth, but came down with West Nile virus while preparing for the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II).

"He looks fine but the West Nile virus just damaged all the nerves," added Alberts. "I am sure he'll be able to have another profession. He's at the farm, just trying to get the fitness out of him. I've had a couple people contact me about making him a dressage horse. He is a beautiful mover and sound and loves to do anything."

Magic Weisner won seven of 15 starts, including five stakes, with four second-place finishes and earnings of $888,830.

"I am still proud of him," said Alberts. "Even now, he knows he is special."

Magic Weisner's full brother Old Julio, a 2-year old, is about ready to begin training.