The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines magic as: "The use of means (such as charms or spells) is believed to have supernatural powers over natural forces."
On Saturday 24 September, Woodbine Mohawk Park at Glengate Farms homebred Oh Look Magic won’t be able to rely on supernatural help, winning the third edition of the Mohawk Million on his own.
Glengate Farms owner Jim Bullock bought a slot in the Mohawk Million in February and Oh Look Magic emerged from a crowded crop of John Bax-trained freshmen to earn a spot in the sport’s richest run for two-year-olds.
"I have a lot of horses with John Bax, for whom I have great respect," said the bull. "I sat down with John, and I said you’re training 21 two-year-olds, one of them should be enough for this race. So, I bought Slot, and his one better turned out to be my homebrew."
Oh Look Magic have scored 4-0-1 in seven starts this year. He began his racing career with three consecutive three-length wins in a baby race and an Ontario Cyrus Stakes gold division. He won his William Wellwood elimination and last came out victorious against Grand Circuit foes in a division of Champagne.
Matt Bax was in the bike for the Wellwood Elimination where Oh Look Magic went 26-1 and would sit behind him in the Mohawk Million. Bax helps his father train the gelding and when he was one year old visits Glengate Farm to see Oh Look Magic.
"With two-year-olds it is a huge advantage to get to know a horse, to sit behind it every day, to know its mannerisms, what it likes and doesn’t like," Bax said. "He’s not the easiest horse, so I think it’s a big advantage to know him."
The other nine drivers in the Mohawk Million are a strong group. James McDonald is Canada’s leading driver, Pepsi North America Cup winner Dexter Dunn earlier this year, and leading Mohawk drivers Bob McClure and Louis-Philippe Roy are all in the fray.
Bax, on the other hand, is not an everyday driver. He has 72 starts and earnings of $163,747 in 2022. This year the region has the second lowest number of drivers among drivers at 562.
"I may not be as good as some of those others, but I lack experience, I’m willing to know the horse," Bax said.
Oh Look Magic have forced themselves into talks this season at the top of the two-year-old division, despite what some might consider an unproven pedigree. He is from the first harvest of his horse LuxLikePandel and the first winner to get out of his dam Miami Magic.
Bullock decided to keep him out of the yearly sale, and he is co-owned by Bax Stable and The Cavalier Stable. There were signs along the way that he might be doing better than what was expected of him.
"When he was weaning and tormented in the field, before he went to John for training, if you went to the field to see our tadpole, he was like the leader of the pack there," said the bull.
Bax has also been pleasantly surprised with a horse named ‘Radar’ due to his trademark floppy ears.
"I was just hoping for a good (Ontario Cyrus Stakes) horse that would be competitive in Golds," Bax said. "It is very special for him to get out in this way for the owners and breeder to be where he is yet, let alone in a race of this magnitude."
This is the second year the bull has bought a slot in the Mohawk Million, and Oh Look Magic is one of two Glengate Farms-owned horses that have entered the big race.
Bullock partnered with fellow slots owner Brad Grant to enter John Becks apprentice Proud to Be Lindy.
"I was in it for the first time two years ago, and I did it at the time to support Woodbine Entertainment Group who were trying to do something unique and different," said the bull. "This is a unique format. I’d probably see a better view late Saturday night or early Sunday morning (what I think about it)."
Proud to be Lindy and Oh Look Magic will leave the gate next to each other from posts two and three. Oh Look Magic has a good chance of being in the mix for any horse as the field rolls around for home.
"He ain’t no bowing there," Bax said. "It will be a competitive race, with different horses coming from each jurisdiction, which always makes the Mohawk Million an interesting race."
-Edit Release (OSS)
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