June 30, 2022

Magic Star looks to continue rapid rise in Suwannee River

Magic Star wins's the 2020 Marshua's River (Ryan Thompson/Coglianese Photography)

Magic Star had just two starts under her belt, the latter a sixth-place effort in an entry-level allowance in late October, when an undeterred Chad Brown entered the 4-year-old filly into the Jan. 11 Marshua’s River (G3). Bettors paid no mind either, backing the daughter of Scat Daddy down and reaping a $7.20 mutuel following her half-length score.

On Saturday, Magic Star faces her sternest test to date in the $150,000 Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream Park, in which she will meet Grade 1 winner Starship Jubilee.

In contrast to Magic Star, the 7-year-old Starship Jubilee is a veteran of 33 races and has never been better. Based primarily in Canada, the Indy Wind mare has won three of her last four, including the E.P. Taylor (G1) and the Canadian (G2), the latter for a second time. Upset two back in the Cardinal (G3) over a very testing course at Churchill Downs, Starship Jubilee rebounded last month to defend her title in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf as a heavy 2-5 favorite.

“Where she started and where she is today – capped off with the E.P. Taylor, which is not an easy race to win – it’s been quite the ride,” trainer Kevin Attard said of the Sovereign Award finalist. “There was talk of her retiring, but you say to yourself, ‘How do you replace a horse like this?'” They don’t come by often. She’s done right by us, so when the time comes when she doesn’t want to do it anymore, she will be retired.”

The remainder of the field in the nine-furlong grass test have form to find to topple the leading pair. Multiple stakes winner Vow to Recover was third to Starship Jubilee in the Sunshine Millions, while Kelsey’s Cross would figure more effective cutting back from the 12 furlongs of the La Prevoyante (G3) two weeks ago. Chad Brown also sends out the graded stakes newcomer Tapit Today, an allowance winner at Tampa in late December following 16 months on the shelf.