Breeders’ Cup: Lame Magician pulled from Turf

Magician won’t be able to defend his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf after coming up lame during a

Magician won’t be able to defend his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf after coming up lame during a routine jog at Santa Anita on Wednesday morning.

The Breeders’ Cup Turf was slated to be Magician’s final

career start, and the plan was to retire him to Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

“He was acutely lame in his off fore this morning, and it was an instant decision to take him out of the race,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said.

Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, the son of Galileo retires with over $2.5 million in earnings. His final start was a second to Hardest Core in the Arlington Million.

Another defection was Elizabeth Valando’s 5-year-old mare Free as a Bird, a 15-1 long shot in the Turf Sprint, as handlers attempted to load her onto a Tex Sutton charter plane.

“She didn’t like the sound of the engines and had to be backed off the plane,” trainer Ian Wilkes said. “She is scratched. As long as she is OK, we’re fine.”

With Free as a Bird out of the Turf Sprint, 20-1 Ageless has drawn in.


Chad Brown has trained two Eclipse Award winners in the Female Turf division, Stacelita in 2011 and Zagora in 2012, and believes he has a shot at a third, if Stephanie’s Kitten wins the Filly & Mare Turf on Saturday.

A winner of the Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2011, Stephanie’s Kitten would be the first horse to come back after not competing in the Breeders’ Cup for two years to secure another victory.

Fourteen of the 17 repeat winners earned the second victory the following year. The other three were winners again after a one-year gap.

In her most recent start, the Flower Bowl Invitational, Stephanie’s Kitten snapped a frustrating string of four losses that included a neck loss to Somali Lemonade in the Diana at Saratoga Race Course.

Stephanie’s Kitten traveled from New York Monday with nine other members of Brown’s stable, as well as trainer Bill Mott’s horses. The flight was delayed in Lexington, Ky., to replace a cracked windshield, and they did not arrive in California until the evening. Brown gave all of his runners an easy morning of exercise on the track.


Zenyatta’s 2014 foal, a filly nicknamed Z Princess, was euthanized at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday after injuring herself in a paddock accident at Lane’s End Farm.

The weanling, by War Front, was born on April 20.

The 2008 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic and 2009 Classic winner has two other offspring, a yearling son of Tapit named Ziconic and a 2-year-old colt named Cozmic One, by Bernardini, who began his training at Saratoga Race Course this summer.

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