Poof Its Magic, Michigan’s juvenile female of the year in 2016, continued to assert her dominance over her class on Friday evening, drawing off to win a rain-soaked renewal of the $20,000 Regret Stakes at Hazel Park.
The Zulu Magic filly broke to the outside in the field of five Michigan-bred 3-year-old fillies, as Decipher took command from the inside post heading into the first turn. Decipher moved out to the second path as they entered the bend, flanked by Prancers Hour and Grab the Loot, with Poof Its Magic out four wide.
Decipher put a two-length cushion ahead of her three closest rivals through the turn and set an opening quarter in 25.70 seconds. Poof Its Magic began to advance on the leader shortly after the first point of call, and chased Decipher across the back straightaway.
Those two distanced themselves from the rest of the field by the time Decipher completed the opening half-mile in 50.19 seconds, with Poof Its Magic beginning to draw even on the outside.
Poof Its Magic surged past Decipher in the turn, and entered the stretch with a widening advantage over her foe.
Jockey Ricardo Barrios urged Poof Its Magic with a right-handed whip at the top of the stretch, then switched to a steady left hand as they entered the final furlong. Decipher fought on gamely, but eventually relented, allowing Poof Its Magic to draw off to a two-length victory.
Decipher, the even-money favorite, carried on for second, 9 ¼ lengths ahead of third-place Grab the Loot.
Poof Its Magic completed the six-furlong race in 1:17.58 over a sloppy sealed track, and paid $5.60 to win as the betting public’s second choice.
Poof Its Magic races as a homebred for Jenny Barbeau, and Reid T. Gross trains her. The filly is the first horse owned or bred by the Michigan-based Barbeau, making the stakes victory especially momentous. She is also the first stakes winner for Michigan sire Zulu Magic.
With the Regret victory, Poof Its Magic improved her lifetime record to three wins in five starts for earnings of $36,272. It was a successful follow-up to her previous start, a June 17 allowance at Hazel Park where she once again bested Decipher at six furlongs, that time by a nose.