Shockwaves in Horse Racing World As Kentucky Derby Winner Withdraws From $6-Million Worth Breeders’ Cup Classic

Published 10/30/2023, 2:11 PM EDT

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The news that Kentucky Derby winner Mage had to withdraw from the Grade 1 $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic due to sickness startled the horse racing world. This 3-year-old Good Magic horse, owned by Ramiro Restrepo and co-owned by OGMA Investments, Sterling Racing, and the Commonwealth, was poised to make his debut, but destiny had other ideas.

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Mage’s connections found that he had a fever only days before the Breeders’ Cup Classic. His loss of appetite was one of the symptoms they noticed. Gustavo, the mage’s trainer, said, “We were very enthusiastic about the condition that the horse was going through, and despite how disappointed we feel right now, we are confident in a speedy recovery.” This horse was a strong contender in the Breeders’ Cup. However, something happened that would change this trajectory for the worse.

The resignation of Mage stuns the horse racing community

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Ramiro Restrepo broke the news on social media, writing, “Timing stinks, but lucky we caught it early. Can’t run at below 100%; horse comes first. Onwards to the Pegasus and his 4yo campaign.” Trainer Gustavo Delgado was disoriented, but he stressed the significance of the horse’s health while explaining why they had to pull out of the important event.

 

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Mage’s abrupt departure surprised many people in the horse racing industry, both casual spectators and professionals. There was a quick shift in mood from admiration for Mage’s remarkable physique to worry for his well-being. Stabled in Lexington, Kentucky, G1 Travers winner Mage was back in peak shape after a brief rest.  He breezed four times in October. His network was still hopeful for his rehabilitation and future, despite this setback.

The promising racehorse Mage was bred in Kentucky by Robert Clay’s Grandview Equine. His victory over Two Phil’s in the G1 Kentucky Derby, which he won by a length, cemented his status as a rising star in the horse racing industry. Such defeats serve to highlight the unpredictable nature of the sport. Connections to Mage have said they are still optimistic about his health and his next 4-year-old season, despite the setback.

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Mage’s future in racing, a source of hope despite setbacks

Even though Mage’s connections were disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to compete in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, they were looking forward. As evidence of the faith shown in Mage’s potential as a valuable sire, Airdrie Stud in Midway, Kentucky, stated before his racing career ended that he would stand at stud. The racing world is excited about Mage’s return to action and the potential he represents for the future of the sport.

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While Mage’s withdrawal from the Breeders’ Cup Classic disappointed racing fans, it was a testament to the commitment of his connections that they put Mage’s health and well-being first. They put the horse’s well-being first despite their displeasure, demonstrating the sport’s underlying commitment to kindness. The racing community is holding its breath as Mage begins his road to recovery, certain that he will continue to fascinate crowds and inspire a new generation of racing aficionados once he returns to the track.

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Written by:

Soham Patel

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Soham Patel is a sports writer at EssentiallySports with a diverse range of interests. Currently pursuing his Bachelors in Mass Communication and Journalism from a reputed institute, Soham has been an avid contributor to the world of writing. He brings a professional perspective to his coverage of US sports.
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Edited by:

Shifa Jahan

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