Mage 'Looked Pretty Good' on First Day Over Saratoga's Oklahoma Track

Mage (white cap, white bridle) finished second to Geaux Rocket Ride in Saturday's Haskell | Sarah Andrew

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Four days after his second-place finish in the GI Haskell S., GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) took some small, easy steps toward the GI Travers on Aug. 26, jogging Wednesday on the Oklahoma training track.

Mage shipped from Monmouth Park in New Jersey to Saratoga on Monday and was given another day off on Tuesday. He made his first visit to the track on a cool, foggy morning under his regular exercise rider J.J. Delgado. Assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado held the colt while he was bathed, while his father, trainer Gustavo Delgado, watched.

Delagado, Jr. said that Mage has come out of his first race since the GI Preakness on May 20 in good shape.

“We like what we see, especially the eating, the travel and then here,” Delgado, Jr. said. “This morning he looked pretty good.”

Mage wanted to move around during the bath and Delgado, Jr. said he was tough to control at times.

“Tomorrow, I think he will start galloping, the way he looked today, because he needs it,” Delgado, Jr. said. “He will start off galloping here and then probably next week we'll start taking him to the main track.”

Mage's connections set the Travers as the summer goal after he finished third in the Preakness. They gave him 17 days off and embarked on a training program to prepare him for the summer starts. Delgado, Jr. said that even in defeat the Haskell was a success.

“Everything was according to plan,” he said. “Of course, we wanted to win. And we never had a doubt that he was going to be competitive enough. The thing is that previous to the race we missed at least one breeze that was on the schedule. It was raining a lot at the training center so we couldn't get one work in. But his last one, he was ready. 'Let's take him to the Haskell because he might pull it off.'”

Yet to be decided is whether Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano will ride Mage in the Travers. Castellano rode Arcangelo (Arrogate) in the GI Belmont S. and that colt is headed to the Travers, too. Delgado said he and his father had dinner at Castellano's house Tuesday night, watched the Haskell several times, but did not discuss the Travers.

Delgado, Jr. said they hope that Castellano will be aboard for the marquee race of the Saratoga season, which could decide the 3-year-old male title.

“We wouldn't want to try with somebody else, that's for sure,” Delgado, Jr. said. “But at the same time he's an easy horse to ride. He's not that difficult.”

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