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Champion Good Magic is 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

E Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables’ champion Good Magic, purchased for $1 million at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s 94th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2).

A total of 15 3-year-olds, including one also-eligible, was entered Tuesday for the 1 1/8-mile main track test that serves as a major steppingstone to the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) to be run May 5 at Churchill Downs.

The Toyota Blue Grass offers 170 points toward qualification for this year’s Derby with 100 going to the winner, 40 to the runner-up, 20 to third place and 10 points to fourth. The Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners that pass the entry box and currently the cut line is 29 points.

The Toyota Blue Grass will go as the 10th race on Saturday’s 11-race program with a 6:23 p.m. ET post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.

NBC Sports Network will have a live national broadcast of the Toyota Blue Grass, along with the Wood Memorial (G2) from Aqueduct and the Santa Anita Derby (G1), from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Trained by Chad Brown, Good Magic earned the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male of 2017 following his victory in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar.

In his lone 2018 race, Good Magic finished third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park on March 3. Jose Ortiz has the mount on Good Magic, who will break from post position 11.

The second choice on the morning line at 5-1 is the Albaugh Family Stables’ Free Drop Billy.

Trained by two-time Toyota Blue Grass winner Dale Romans, Free Drop Billy will try to join Romans’ trainees Dullahan and Brody’s Cause as victors in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at 2 and the Toyota Blue Grass. The only other horses to accomplish the double were Round Table and Carpe Diem.

Free Drop Billy enters Saturday’s race off a third-place finish in the Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct on March 10. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount on Free Drop Billy and will break from post position 10.

Romans also will send out Frank Jones’ Tiz Mischief. A maiden winner at Keeneland last fall, Tiz Mischief finished fifth in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in his most recent start. Corey Lanerie has the mount on Tiz Mischief and will break from post position nine as a 30-1 morning-line proposition.

The co-third choice on the morning line at 6-1 is Tampa Bay Derby winner Quip. Trained by Rodolphe Brisset and owned by the partnership of China Horse Club International, WinStar Farm and SF Racing, Quip has won three of four starts with one of those triumphs coming at Keeneland last fall. Florent Geroux has the mount on Quip, who will break from post position five.

Also at 6-1 on the morning line is John Oxley’s Flameaway. Trained by Mark Casse, Flameaway was runner-up to Quip in his most recent start in the Tampa Bay Derby and prior to that won the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. Flameaway, winner of Keeneland’s Dixiana Bourbon (G3) last fall, will break from post position 12 and be ridden by Jose Lezcano.

Four other trainers beside Romans will be trying to add to their Toyota Blue Grass victory totals.

Three-time winner Todd Pletcher will be represented by Marconi. Owned in partnership by Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, Marconi is listed at 15-1 on the morning line. Ryan Moore has the mount and will break from post position six.

Two-time winner D. Wayne Lukas will send out Robert Baker and William Mack’s Sporting Chance, winner of the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga. To be ridden by Luis Saez, Sporting Chance (10-1 on the morning line) will break from post position two. Lukas won the Toyota Blue Grass in 1987 with War and in 2000 with High Yield. Saez won the 2016 Toyota Blue Grass on Brody’s Cause.

Doug O’Neill, whose Irap became the first maiden to win the Toyota Blue Grass last year, will try to become the third trainer to win the race in consecutive years when he sends out Greg Hall and SAYJAY Racing’s Blended Citizen and R3 Racing, Steven Keh and C T R Stables’ Arawak on Saturday.

Listed at 15-1 on the morning line, Blended Citizen won the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) in his most recent start at Turfway Park on March 17 with Arawak finishing third. Kyle Frey has the mount on Blended Citizen, who will break from post position seven, while Arawak (30-1) will break from post 14 under Fernando De La Cruz.

Other trainers to win the race in consecutive years are LeRoy Jolley with Honest Pleasure and For the Moment in 1976 and 1977, and Ben Jones with Faultless in 1947 and Coaltown in 1948.

Mike Maker, who sent out Stately Victor to post the biggest upset in race history with an $82.80 payoff in 2010, will saddle Three Diamonds Farm’s California Night. A winner of two of three starts, California Night will break from post position three and be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione. California Night is 30-1 on the morning line.

In addition to Saez, Julien Leparoux will be trying to add to his Toyota Blue Grass victory total. Leparoux has the mount on West Point Thoroughbreds’ Kanthaka. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Kanthaka is 10-1 on the morning line and will break from post position four.

Leparoux, who won last year’s race on Irap, also will be trying to join six other riders to have won the race in consecutive years. Edgar Prado in 2002 and 2003 is the most recent jockey to accomplish the feat, joining Bill Shoemaker (twice), Eddie Arcaro, Pat Day, Shane Sellers and Mike Smith. Leparoux also won the 2013 renewal on Java’s War.

The field for the Toyota Blue Grass, with riders and morning-line odds, from the rail out is: Zing Zang (Shaun Bridgmohan, 30-1), Sporting Chance (Saez, 10-1), California Night (Gaffalione, 30-1), Kanthaka (Leparoux, 10-1), Quip (Geroux, 6-1), Marconi (Moore, 15-1), Blended Citizen (Frey, 15-1), Gotta Go (Chris Landeros, 30-1), Tiz Mischief (Lanerie, 30-1), Free Drop Billy (Ortiz Jr., 5-1), Good Magic (Ortiz, 2-1), Flameaway (Lezcano, 6-1). Machismo (Jake Radosevich, 20-1) and Arawak (De La Cruz, 30-1). Also-Eligible: Determinant (Gaffalione, 20-1). All starters will carry 123 pounds.

Watch Tuesday’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes
and Central Bank Ashland post postition draw

From Keeneland

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