April 7 was a day of reckoning in many ways at historic Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. First of all there was a time before noon when one said “I reckon I am going to brave this snow and bust on out there”. Then there was the questions of “reckon this wind is going to quit blowing up my shorts ?” Next up was “If I bet enough I reckon I will cash a ticket sooner or later”. And then there was the stamping of a horse as a legitimate big-timer in the Kentucky Derby chase as he provided the reckoning with a Magical performance.

Good Magic is a three-year old colt that had burst onto the scene last November with an impressive win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar. That was the first win for this flashy son of Curlin after second place finishes in a maiden special weight at Saratoga and the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. Fast forward to the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland and the Chad Brown trained colt still had only one win to his credit, but had been named Eclipse Two-year old Champion based off the Breeders’ Cup. A slight hiccup in training and a lackluster third place finish in the March 3 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park had some doubting we would see a Good Magic show in the 94th running of this key Kentucky Derby prep.

As the Stakes races started and the clock moved forward, everything changed. The sun came out, the wonderment of this mystical place came to the forefront and a rabbit came out of the hat in the 10th race. Good Magic broke alertly and stalked a decent pace. Powerfully passing up a game front-running Flameaway at the top of the stretch, the colt bred just down the road at Stonestreet Stables rolled to victory in impressive fashion. Covering the mile and an eighth in 1:50.18 under jockey Jose Ortiz, the grandson of Hard Spun.

“I thought it was an outstanding performance,” says Chad Brown. “I loved where he was at throughout the race and it was just going to be is he good enough and fit enough to win it. He seems to love Keeneland. This is the first Bluegrass win for our barn. Once you get a little taste of Keeneland in the Spring it makes you want to come back for more.”

Finally, there were all those folks that thought like Chad Brown after the Bluegrass. “I reckon I need to come back to this place.”