LONGSHOT MAGIC GRANT MAKES $75,000 CLEVER TREVOR STAKES HIS FIRST CAREER WIN IN ONLY SECOND CAREER START
Jockey Richard Eramia and owner Willis Horton Racing of Marshall, Ark., combined for the second time to win the $75,000 Clever Trevor Stakes on Friday night at Remington Park, this time with a maiden, Magic Grant.
Trainer Eddie Milligan, Jr., gave Eramia a leg up in this year’s edition, the 24th running of the Clever Trevor Stakes for 2-year-olds racing seven furlongs. Eramia and Horton also won this race with Long Range Toddy in 2018. Steve Asmussen was the trainer of record for that trip to the winner’s circle. Long Range Toddy went on to run in the Kentucky Derby in 2019. Milligan wasn’t sure where his maiden-breaking stakes winner would run next or what race. The Clever Trevor Stakes often serves as a prep race for the $300,000 Springboard Mile in December, Remington Park’s cornerstone race for 2-year-olds that contains Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
“We’ll talk to Mr. Horton and go from there,” said Milligan.
Despite the fact that Magic Grant (23-1) had run only one race in his career and was badly beaten by nine lengths, finishing sixth in a maiden race at Remington Park on Sept. 29, his connections all kept the faith in his ability. There were some signs that he might have some talent.
“We picked him out in Florida,” said Milligan, “and we really liked him with the way he went.”
Those signs were enough for Horton to lay down $300,000 to purchase the 2-year-old son of Good Magic, out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Holiday Bertie, out of the 2023 Ocala Breeders’ March Sale for 2-year-olds-in-training. Magic Grant was originally bought as a yearling by Quarter Pole Enterprises in the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2022 for $120,000. In the Clever Trevor, he won $45,000 from the purse and now has earned $45,085 in two starts.
Oddly enough, Magic Grant on Friday did something similar to his sire Good Magic, who was a Champion 2-year-old. That remarkable racehorse also broke his maiden in a stakes race, but on a grander scale than Magic Grant. Good Magic, a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, was a non-winner until he won for the first time in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. It was the first time any maiden had ever won a Breeders’ Cup race. Good Magic went on to run second in the
Magic Grant has quite a way to go to establish that kind of talent, but his win in the Clever Trevor was visually impressive. He rallied from 12 lengths behind in next-to-last down the backstretch to draw off to a 4-1/2 length victory, rolling like a freight train in the stretch. He covered the seven furlongs over the fast track in 1:26.17 and cut into early fractions of :22.07 for the first quarter-mile, :45.53 for the half and had the lead at three-quarters in 1:12.88. Vino Bianco (16-1) and Third Street (3-1) were the early front runners that set the fractions. They finished last and next-to-last. Vino Bianco was pulled up in the lone turn. The top two favorites in the race, shippers General Shipman, the wagering favorite at 8-5 odds, and Go Otto Go (5-2) could do no better than fifth and sixth. Specialsortastorm (8-1) ran seventh.
As a 23-1 longshot, Magic Grant paid $49.80 to win, $25.60 to place and $11.60 to show. My Buddy Mel (15-1) checked in second in a huge longshot exacta, paying $555 on a $2 wager. The 10-cent superfecta with Wish Man (8-1) running third and Devil’s Mischief (85-1) finishing fourth was worth $2,203.76.
Runner-up My Buddy Mel was 2-1/2 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Wish Man.
“I know Mr. Milligan loved (Magic Grant) from the beginning,” said Eramia. “When he changed leads in the stretch, he really took off.”
Magic Grant also raced with blinkers off on Friday night after his dismal try with them on in his first race. He was bet down to 3-1 odds in his career debut against open maiden special weight juveniles, an indicator that he might have some ability.
The Clever Trevor Stakes is named after the legendary Oklahoma-bred millionaire who won the inaugural Oklahoma Derby in 1989 along with multiple graded stakes events in his career, while accumulating over a million dollars in earnings. A statue of Clever Trevor stands in the middle of the Remington Park paddock walking ring.
Remington Park racing concludes Saturday, Oct. 28 with a first post time is 7:07 CDT.
Remington Park has provided more than $331 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park is home to the Springboard Mile, a Kentucky Derby points-qualifying race, on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.