When a striking son of Curlin was knocked down to the account of agent Mike Ryan on behalf of the Edwards' family's then-nascent e Five Racing for $1 million at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale, it marked the first seven-figure transaction in Book 2 of the marathon auction in five years.
"This horse would have brought this kind of money in Book 1," Ryan said at the time. "He stood out. I saw him on the farm and I loved him."
Two years later, that colt, named Good Magic, has lived up to the potential Ryan saw in him as a youngster and is among the favorites for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1).
Good Magic comes into the season's first classic with a record of 2-2-1 from five starts, with earnings of $1,855,000. Trained by Chad Brown, Good Magic secured an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male of 2017 when he won the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) after a second-place finish in the Champagne Stakes (G1).
Third in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth (G2) to begin his sophomore campaign, Good Magic won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) last out.
Good Magic was offered at Keeneland by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency on behalf of Stonestreet Bred and Raised, Barbara Banke's racing and breeding entity that purchased an interest in the colt after he was purchased by e Five.
Glinda the Good, the colt's dam, was bred by Stonstreet, which offered the daughter of Hard Spun as a yearling at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. Bought back for $200,000 after failing to attain her reserve, the filly won two stakes and earned $226,758. Glinda the Good is a half sister to five stakes winners, including grade 3 winner Take the Ribbon.
A Speightstown half brother to Good Magic was purchased by Narvick International, agent for Katsumi Yoshida, for $700,000 from Niall Brennan Stables, agent, at the recent Ocala Breeders' Sales spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Recalling his interest in Good Magic as a sale yearling, Ryan said the fact that the colt was a son of Hill 'n' Dale Farm stallion Curlin played a major role in the decision. Ryan had previously achieved classic success with another son of Curlin he had selected at auction when Palace Malice won the 2013 Belmont Stakes (G1).
"The Curlins are easy to train and get better when they get older," Ryan said of the stallion's offspring. "They have a great constitution, are sound, and love what they're doing."
Although Good Magic was not a large, scopey individual like Palace Malice as a yearling, the colt is "a beautiful horse; nicely made," the agent said. "He has great mechanics. You could see what he was going to look like as a racehorse. He is a smooth, easy going horse. Very light on his fee, he was soft getting over the ground. He carried himself extremely well.
"When he was training at Stonestreet he would come down the lane straight, not veering right or left. Thankfully he has gone on to be the horse he is."
Ryan, who has purchased his share of high-class runners over the course of his career, heaped praise on Good Magic, saying one of his many positive attributes is his affinity for racing.
"He absolutely thrives on training," Ryan said. "He's completely focused on his job. He is reliable and consistent. When he was training at Stonestreet he would come down the lane straight, not veering right or left, but totally focused.
"He has an unbelievable mental aura about him and athleticism as well."