TDN RISING STARS

February 18, 2018 - Santa Anita, Race 2, Msw, USD $54,000, 7F

Justify, C, 3, 2015 by Stallion Two

1st Dam: Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper
2nd Dam: Magical Illusion, by Pulpit
3rd Dam: Voodoo Lily, by Baldski

Owner: WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club & SF Racing LLC
Breeder: John D. Gunther (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert

Justify (c,3 Scat Daddy-Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper) solidified himself as a major player in the 3-year-old division going forward after dominating in his debut Sunday at Santa Anita, earning the ‘Rising Star’ nod.

Heavily backed at 1-2, the chestnut broke last in the field of five before rushing up between horses to put his head in front after a quick opening quarter in :21.80. He continued with ease around the far turn, where he began to open up his advantage and was three lengths clear of his rivals at the quarter pole without ever being asked by Drayden Van Dyke. Once urged, the favorite let out another gear in the final furlong to draw away to an impressive 9 1/2-length graduation, stopping the clock at 1:21.86 for the seven furlongs. Camby (Candy Ride {Arg}) was another 5 1/2 lengths clear of the third-place finisher.

“It’s not too late,” said winning trainer Bob Baffert in regards to the Kentucky Derby trail. “I’ve got a plan…We’re looking (for a graded stakes race). He’s shown his brilliance in the morning.”

Justify was purchased as a yearling by his current connections for $500,000 at the Keeneland September sale. His third dam was GSW Voodoo Lily (Baldski) and hails from the family of MGSW Kid Cruz (Lemon Drop Kid). Stage Magic is a GSP daughter of GISP Magical Illusion (Pulpit). She is also responsible for a juvenile filly named Egyptian Storm (Pioneerof the Nile), who recently sold for $230,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale, and a yearling colt by Will Take Charge. She was bred back to Pioneerof the Nile last season.

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