Good Magic is the 2-1 morning line favorite from the No. 11 post for the 94th Blue Grass at Keeneland that will award 170 total points toward next month's Kentucky Derby.
Last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion and Eclipse Award winner will lead a 15-horse field in Saturday's $1 million Grade 2 stakes race. The winner will earn 100 points toward the May 5 Derby at Churchill Downs, with the next three finishers awarded 40, 20 and 10 points respectively. Good Magic is coming off a third in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream on March 3.
Free Drop Billy is the 5-1 second choice with Quip and Flameaway the 6-1 third choices for the 1 1/8-mile feature race with a scheduled 6:23 p.m. EDT post at Keeneland.
POST POSITION DRAW QUOTES
Bobby Powell, consultant for Terry Green’s Jackpot Farm, owner of Zing Zang; post 1; 30-1 in the morning line
“(Drawing the rail) is OK. We have a horse that’s big, he needs to stay out of trouble. He’s not going to be on the front end, so the rail will not bother us. Once he gets his momentum going, he needs to be out of trouble and have a clear path in front of him. Having the rail, going the first half-mile, it’s not going to bother us at all.”
Michael Hernon, Director of Sales for Gainesway Farm. Zing Zang was bred by Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd.
“He’s a horse that gets into a rhythm. He’ll come later in the race. It’s a mile and an eighth; he’s improving and if he gets a good trip, hopefully he’ll be making a challenge at the furlong marker.”
Christina Jelm, East Coast assistant for Jerry Hollendorfer, trainer of Kanthaka; post 4; 10-1
“Kanthaka has won previously from posts 3 and 5 and so we are quite pleased starting from position number 4. It’s clear that our horse has a tremendous turn of foot and his versatility will allow (Jockey Julien) Leparoux to rate however necessary when the gates open.”
Rodolphe Brisset, trainer of Quip; post 5; 6-1
“The horse trained here last year for six months, we already have a run here (an allowance win in October), and we know he likes the track. We got a good draw.”
David Hanley, General Manager of WinStar Farm, breeder and co-owner of Quip
“I think (post five) is the perfect spot for him. He has plenty of speed out of the gate and should be able to sit himself in a good position out of there. He should get a position and be able to relax.”
Jack Sisterson, assistant to Doug O’Neill, trainer of Blended Citizen and Arawak. Blended Citizen drew post 7; 15-1. Arawak drew post 14; 30-1
“(The post for) Blended Citizen is great. He shows no early speed so he’s just going to break, play the break and get into his momentum. He’ll be finishing up pretty strongly the last eighth of a mile, so we’re not concerned with his post position. And Arawak drawing wide, we’ve had luck with Nyquist drawing 13 and I’ll Have Another was 19 (when both won the Kentucky Derby), so the wide draw doesn’t concern us. (Arawak is) going to have blinkers added on Saturday and he’s got a good gate rider (Fernando De La Cruz), so he’s going to be a lot more forwardly placed just to get a good position early so he’s not too wide going into the first turn.”
Ian Wilkes, trainer of Gotta Go, by phone from Ocala, Florida; post 8, 30-1
“Post eight is fine. No problem at all there. At least we are not down on the fence and not stuck on the far outside.”
Dale Romans, trainer of Tiz Mischief and Free Drop Billy. Tiz Mischief drew post 9; 30-1. Free Drop Billy drew post 10; 5-1
“Those are good spots. In a 14-horse field, you worry about getting too far outside. And if you are too far inside, you can get (interfered with). They are sitting in perfect spots.”
Chad Brown, trainer of Good Magic, via text; post 11, 2-1 favorite
“The post is slightly disappointing, but he’s training very well.”
Mike Ryan, representing e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, co-owner of Good Magic
“It’s a bulky field; obviously (he’ll need) a clean break, and a smooth trip is critical because there will be horses backing up. There will be traffic in the race with as large of a field as we have. He’s good breaking, and he has tactical speed. I believe he can put himself in the race. Jose (Ortiz) knows him very well and hopefully he’ll be in a nice stalking position going into the first turn and stay out of trouble.”
David Carroll, assistant to trainer Mark Casse about Flameaway; post 12; 6-1
“The post is the post; he’s a very experienced horse. He’s won (the Dixiana Bourbon-G3) over the track (here). He’ll be forwardly placed, and (jockey) Jose (Lezcano) knows the horse well and we’re very happy with him. We’d obviously like to be drawn in a little bit more inside, but he won the Bourbon from this post. We’re looking forward to the race. He shipped in yesterday and looks terrific and Mark’s been very happy with him.”
Anthony Quartarolo, trainer of Machismo; post 13, 20-1
“Not that happy with the post, but we’ll see how we can overcome it. He has good gate speed, and the three speed (horses) inside are going to go. It’s going to be a little bit of maneuvering (around the first turn) to try to get a good trip because everyone else is going to be looking for position. (In) a big field, the break is huge; gotta break clean, gotta get a clean trip and just hope everything works out.”