Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breeders' Cup Notebook: Magician Won't Repeat Magic in Breeders' Cup

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breeders' Cup Notebook: Magician Won't Repeat Magic in Breeders' Cup

Article excerpt

ARCADIA, Calif. * Magician was scratched from the Breeders' Cup on Wednesday, denying the colt a chance to defend his title in the $3 million Turf.

Magician is the second major defection in as many days. American Pharoah, the 2-1 favorite, withdrew from the $2 million Juvenile on Tuesday because of foot injury.

Magician, trained in Ireland by Aidan O'Brien, was slated to make a second straight U.S. start, having run second in the Arlington Million in August.

"When he came out of a trot this morning, he was found to be acutely lame" with a right front leg injury, O'Brien said. "It was an instant decision to take him out of the race."

The Turf was the 4-year-old's final race. He is headed to stallion duty at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky.

"It's very disappointing," O'Brien said. "We were looking forward to this."

Magician finishes with a record of 5-4-0 in 14 starts with $2.5 million earned.

He captured last year's Turf with a dramatic late run, rallying from 11th to win by a half-length at 12-1 odds in his U.S. debut.

There was another scratch Wednesday when Free as a Bird refused to fly and was withdrawn from the $1 million Turf Sprint. The 5- year-old mare balked at entering the charter plane for the flight from Kentucky to California.

"She didn't like the sound of the engines and had to be backed off the plane," trainer Ian Wilkes said.

Free as a Bird, winner of five straight stakes, was 15-1 on the morning line. Her defection opens a spot for Ageless, who was on the also-eligible list, to enter the race.

GOLDENCENTS AGAIN?

The injury to Magician leaves four Breeders' Cup winners from last year bidding for repeat victories this weekend: Goldencents (Dirt Mile), Ria Antonia (Distaff), Dank (Filly and Mare Turf) and Secret Circle (Sprint).

Of that quartet, Goldencents looks like the best bet to deliver again. He landed the rail for the $1 million Dirt Mile on Friday as the 6-5 favorite.

Most trainers hope to avoid inside posts, fearing their horses will use too much energy in the early stages.

That should not be an issue for Goldencents. His best efforts come when he dictates the pace, no matter how fast. …

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