He was a maiden trying to buck Breeders' Cup history, going against a field that included one of the most overwhelming forces on the World Championships card.
Given the way the results had been trending Nov. 4, Good Magic enjoyed a perfect storm of circumstances to deliver the resounding result he did in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1).
Bolt d'Oro became the latest in a string of heavy favorites to go down in defeat during Saturday's card when the multiple grade 1 winner could do no better than third behind upstart winner Good Magic in the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile.
Aside from World Approval's triumph in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T), favorites had a fitful time heading into the Juvenile with Lady Eli (Filly & Mare Turf-G1T), Lady Aurelia (Turf Sprint-G1T), and Unique Bella (Filly & Mare Sprint-G1) among the conquered. With back-to-back grade 1 wins to his credit, including a 7 3/4-length victory in the Sept. 30 FrontRunner Stakes (G1), Bolt d'Oro and his 3-5 favoritism seemed a candidate to bring some order back to the day.
That is until Good Magic drew off handily for a 4 1/4-length win, becoming the first horse to break their maiden in a Breeders' Cup race.
"(Trainer) Chad (Brown) did a remarkable job of getting this horse here with great confidence," said Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Stables, which bred Good Magic and owns the son of Curlin in partnership with e Five Racing. "He did have to talk us into this a little bit because he came in second in his last start, but he said he thought he would improve and like more distance."
Sent off at 11-1 odds in the 12-horse field, Good Magic had indeed flashed real promise in his first two starts. He finished second in his debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 26, then stepped into top-level company where he earned runner-up honors in the Oct. 7 Champagne Stakes (G1), beaten a half-length by Juvenile rival Firenze Fire.
"We were just laying up the last two races," laughed Bob Edwards of e Five Racing, which also won the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T) with Rushing Fall Nov. 3. "He's been stretching out. Chad has done a wonderful job. Every time we talk to him, he says (Good Magic) keeps getting better and better. He's growing, showing more and more. He felt we had something special."
With Jose Ortiz at the helm, Good Magic got an ideal trip in the Juvenile, rating in fourth to the inside of The Tabulator as eventual runner-up Solomini pushed U S Navy Flag through fractions of :22.83 and :46.75 for a half-mile. Solomini took command coming off the final turn, but his advantage was short-lived as Good Magic tipped out and ran by him en route to hitting the wire in 1:43.34.
Bolt d'Oro, who was well back in 11th, then ninth up the backstretch, had to come extremely wide with his bid approaching the lane and ended up one length behind Solomini in third.
"I guess he just wasn't ready to run today," said Mick Ruis, trainer of Bolt d'Oro. "He never had good position because he was so far outside. But we don't make any excuses. We got beat by a better horse."
Good Magic is out of the Hard Spun mare Glinda the Good and improved his earnings to $1,216,600. He was sold for $1 million at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale to e Five Racing from the Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency consignment.