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Derby Winner Mage gets Back to Work

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage  got back to work Aug. 5 when he took his first steps towards the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1) on Aug. 26 when he had his first Saratoga work.

With regular exercise rider J. J. Delgado in the saddle, Mage cruised five furlongs on the main track at Saratoga Race Course in a time of 1:01.03. It was his first work since finishing second in the Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park on July 22.

Mage, a son of Good Magic  , entered the main track at 8:45 a.m., just after the break.

The Mage camp, which included trainer Gustavo Delgado, his son, assistant Gustavo Jr. and co-owner Ramiro Restrepo, watched from the front side. Back at the barn on the Oklahoma Training Track, no one was unhappy.

“What did I see? It was nice to see him stretch his legs out there,” said Restrepo, who owns the colt along with OGMA Investments, LLC, Sterling Racing, LLC and CMNWLTH. “He galloped out really strong and he kind of wanted to go around there again. He is a happy horse. He is really enjoying the main track and taking to the atmosphere, like many horses do.”

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Mage, who did not race as a 2-year-old, has won two of his six starts this year and has two seconds and a third. When he won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6, it was just his fourth career start.

He followed that up with a third place finish in the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Track on May 20 and then the Haskell. Restrepo has said that the Travers is the summer endgame for Mage.

“The Haskell was the prep for the Travers,” Delgado said. “We needed one race between the Preakness and the Travers and I chose the Haskell. He has come back better out of the Haskell than he did out of the Preakness.”

Mage was originally set to work on Aug. 4 but that plan was scrapped when overnight rain in the area forced the team to move it until Aug 5.

 After more rain forced the New York Racing Association to cancel the final four races of the Aug. 4 card, Restrepo said the team did not decide to work until seeing how the track was on Aug. 5.

“It was a fantastic job by the track management and the track crew; they had the track really nice,” Restrepo said. “Everything is cool; we’re really pleased. We make plans, the horses sometimes make other plans and sometimes mother nature makes plans.”

Mage will have two more works before the Travers and Delgado said they will go back to the plan of breezing on Fridays.

“I prefer Friday because Fridays are very easy and very relaxed and there are not too many horses working on the track,” Delgado said. “Every trainer wants to work on Saturdays and there may have been 100, 200 horses breezing today.”

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