Gray Magician, who just missed winning the Indiana Derby (G3) last month, out-dueled Grade 1 winner Knicks Go to annex the $100,000 Ellis Park Derby on Sunday at the western Kentucky oval (VIDEO).
The win was the first stakes victory for the 3-year-old son of Graydar, who finished second in both the UAE Derby (G2) and Miracle Wood S. will on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year.
Sent off the favorite in Sunday’s one-mile affair, Gray Magician settled a length behind Knicks Go as the leader carved out fractions of :24.17 and :47.03. Gray Magician moved up along side the pacesetter with a quarter-mile to run, and that duo was side by side until deep stretch, when Gray Magician edged clear to win by a half-length in 1:36.19.
The winner was bred in Kentucky by Twin Creeks Farm and is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable. Out of the stakes winner Burg Berg, Gray Magician is a full brother to Robert Lewis S. (G3) winner Lombo.
Top-10 Third-Crop sire Graydar has seven stakes horses and a trio of stakes winners on the year.