Magical Forest Pulls Barbaro Upset
Photo: Jeffrey Snyder
Magical Forest takes the Barbaro Stakes(gr. III) at Delaware Park.
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Sent off as the longest shot in a five-horse field, Paraneck Stable’s Magical Forest broke on top and then outdueled Cherokee Artist in a thrilling stretch duel to capture the $300,000 Barbaro Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) by a half-length July 13 at Delaware Park.

Racing along the rail with Jorge Chavez aboard, Magical Forest hit the top of the stretch noses apart with Cherokee Artist and Garrett Gomez, who had been stalking the pace the whole way. Ready Set, last throughout much of the 1 1/16-mile event, was also charging from the middle of the racetrack and made his presence known in mid-stretch.

But much like he did when gamely defeating Ready Set by a neck in the June 9 Floor Show Stakes at Delaware, Magical Forest stuck a nose in front inside the sixteenth-pole and was not to be denied – this time at odds of 15-1. Cherokee Artist had to settle for second, a head in front of Ready Set and Edgar Prado. The time was 1:44.02 on a fast main track.

The win marked the first graded stakes win for both Magical Forest and his trainer, Joseph DeMola. The 3-year-old son of Forest Camp, who was bred in Kentucky by Gulf Coast Bloodstock, has now won four times this year, three of them in stakes company. His other blacktype victory was in the six-furlong Spicy Award Stakes March 13 at Aqueduct.

Magical Forest, out of the Naevus mare Silken Magic, was fifth in his only previous graded stakes effort, the April 5 Bay Shore (gr. III) in which J Be K won.

In the Barbaro, Magical Forest broke from post two and went right to the lead. He was never far ahead of favorite Cherokee Artist while setting fractions of :24.13, :48.78 and 1:12.69. Ready Set did not begin to find his best stride until rounding the far turn.

Purchased for $360,000 at the New York Saratoga 2006 Select yearling sale, Magical Forest has now earned $315,599. After the race, DeMola said the dark bay colt could be pointed towards the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) July 27 at Saratoga.

The winner paid $ 33.60, $7.40 and $3.40. The exacta (2-3) was worth $102.40, while the trifecta (2-3-4) returned $371.80. Goldsville was fourth, followed by Roman Emperor.

(Chart, Equibase)

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