Kentucky Derby Winner Mage Retired to Airdrie

Mage wins the 2023 Kentucky Derby | Coady photo

Mage (Good Magic–Puca, by Big Brown), this year's Grade I Kentucky Derby winner, has been retired from racing and will begin his stallion career at Airdrie Stud for the 2024 breeding season, announced his connections in a press release Monday morning.

Racing for the ownership group of OGMA Investments, LLC, CMNWLTH, Sterling Racing, LLC and Ramiro Restrepo and trained by the father-son team of Gustavo Delgado and Gustavo Delgado, Jr, Mage's victory in Kentucky Derby 149 stands as the highlight of a whirlwind 3-year-old campaign that saw him break his maiden in his racing debut on January 28 and win the Derby in just his fourth career start less than 100 days later. In historical context, only Justify (2018) and Apollo (1882) won the Derby without the benefit of starting as a 2-year-old, and Mage matched Justify's record feat by winning the race having competed only three times previously. Mage's defining win came on the heels of a narrow defeat at the hands of Juvenile Champion Forte in the Grade I Florida Derby and preceded a runner-up effort in the Grade I Haskell Invitational and third-place finish in the Grade I Preakness S. He retires as North America's leading 3-year old earner with more than $2,500,000 in 2023 earnings, a figure that trails only Breeders' Cup Classic winner White Abarrio among all North American runners. The son of leading young sire Good Magic and Broodmare of the Year candidate Puca will stand his first season at an announced stud fee of $25,000.

Mage had several works this fall at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, most recently a five-furlong move in 1:02.20 on Oct. 22. But Gustavo Delgado said that a scan revealed `the beginning of a small issue' that would compromise his 4-year-old career.

Mage has been a great blessing in our family's life,” said trainer Gustavo Delgado, Sr. “He was special for so many reasons and he gave all of us that were blessed to be associated with him the greatest days you could ever have in racing. He was so brilliantly talented and an incredible horse to work with, as his mind and determination were as exceptional as his abilities. We were planning to have a championship four-year-old campaign with him, but our routine end-of-the-season scan revealed that he had the beginnings of a small issue that would require us to miss his early season goals. He has been so good to us and owes us nothing. It is time for him to begin his next career and we look forward to winning the big races with his sons and daughters in the years ahead. He will not be a good sire, he will be a GREAT sire.”

“It is an incredible privilege for our team to be able to bring Mage into the Airdrie stallion barn,” said Airdrie's Bret Jones. “To be able to stand a Kentucky Derby winner is so extremely special and we will always be grateful to the Delgado family and Mage's ownership group for giving us this opportunity. The great work they did with Mage really can't be overstated. Not only were they able to win the Kentucky Derby less than 100 days after his career debut, but I really believe they put together the strongest season that any three-year-old colt had this year. Mage retires as the leading three-year-old earner in America and has won or placed in four Grade I races this year. No other leading three-year-old has done that more than twice. He ran the highest dirt Beyer Speed Figure of any three-year-old beyond a mile and his 105 Beyer from the Derby is the highest of any winner in the last 15 years. He is a very special horse and, when combined with being by one of the hottest young sires in the world and out of a mare that has the look of being truly important, has all the credentials to be a very special stallion.”

 

 

 

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