She was sensational in 2013 and anything but in 2014. But it looks like Bee A Magician is back and poised for a huge 5-year-old campaign.
There was no other conclusion to come to after she beat males in last night’s $50,000 prep for the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands and did so from the 10 post. In one of the sharper efforts of her career, the daughter of Kadabra won by 1 ½ lengths over Elitlopp bound Wind Of The North. Her time was 1:51.3. Melady’s Monet finished third, beaten 3 1/4 lengths.
“She is stronger this year, better than she was,” winning trainer Nifty Norman said. “I think she’s going to have a good year. She seems like she can handle what’s in front of her.”
Bee A Magician won all 17 of her starts in 2013 and was named Horse of the Year. Her 4-year-old year was a different story as she won just four of 17 tries. Despite winning the Breeders Crown, Bee A Magician had, by all accounts, a disappointing year.
“It’s sort of the proof that the 4-year-old year is a tough year,” Norman said. “People don’t seem to understand that. We see it all the time, a horse has big 3-year-old year and as 4-year-old they bounce. Not that she raced bad a 4 year old, but it was just tough.”
Bee A Magician kicked off her 2015 with a win over males in Open company at Yonkers. But that didn’t inspire much confidence among bettors, who sent her off at 12-1 last night. The odds had a lot to do with her post and the competition she faced. Though just a $50,000 race, it included Hambletonian winner Market Share and two of the hottest older trotters in the sport in DW’s NY Yank and Melady’s Monet. The latter was the even-money favorite.
Norman admitted he was not expecting a win.
“I didn’t expect to win the race at all,” the trainer said. “We were hoping for a good effort and then to point her for next week. Scotty (Zeron) did a good job recognizing that nothing really left and there wasn’t a lot of pace. He put her in a good sport and everything worked out nice.”
Zeron did a good job working out a trip for the mare. He hustled his mount to the front and didn’t have to use her up too much to get to the lead in 27.4. DW’s NY Yank, who broke at the start, overtook Bee A Magician to take the lead on the backstretch for Yannick Gingras. Zeron sat patiently, tipped out for the stretch drive and gunned his mare to the lead.
“What did she feel like? She felt like the horse of the year,” Zeron said. “I didn’t know what to expect. I never got a chance to sit behind her before. There’s a reason she was the horse of the year. She does everything right.”
Zeron picked up the drive when regular driver Brian Sears decided to stay at Yonkers for the night. Norman said he understood Sears’ decision and the drive is still his.
“Brian had a full book over there and I wasn’t going to pressure him to drive one horse out of the 10 hole,” Norman said. “We discussed it and I told him it was fine if he didn’t come. He’ll come next week.”
The Cutler Memorial goes for $175,000 and as long as she draws well Bee A Magician will likely be the favorite. Norman admits he didn’t necessarily see this coming.
“She’s been good and came back good,” he said. “I’‘m probably a little surprised she’s been as good as she is, but I’m very pleased about that. It’s a long year, lots of things can go wrong. But this sure has been a great way to start.”
This was Bee A Magician’s 33rd win from 49 career starts.