Poof Its Magic continued to bolster her campaign for Michigan's 3-year-old filly of the year, if not the state's overall Horse of the Year, on Saturday night with an assertive victory in the $25,000 Ann Arbor Stakes at Hazel Park.
The 3-year-old Zulu Magic filly broke well and settled into the mid-pack as Charedis Power was roused to the early lead from the outside, followed closely by Decipher and Lady Gatto on the inside and Say Shesnotperfect on the outside. Charedi's Power had a head in front of the fray on the lead after the opening quarter mile, in 24.81 seconds, while jockey Ricardo Barrios began to move Poof Its Magic closer to the leaders.
Decipher assumed the lead from the inside from a still-game Charedis Power, while Poof Its Magic joined the battle for the lead three-wide. The bulk of the field remained tightly bunched after a half-mile in 51.81 seconds, with five of the field's six entries still within striking distance coming into the final turn.
Poof It's Magic got a neck in front of her foes as the turn began to point for the finish, and took a wide trip to a 1 1/2-length lead at the top of the stretch. Barrios kept his mount to task with the stick in alternating hands, then rode her out to the wire when the race was clearly in hand, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of runner-up Decipher. Grab the Loot moved up in the pack to finish third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the second-place finisher.
Poof Its Magic completed the 6 1/2-furlong race in 1:25.64 over a fast track. She paid $3.80 to win as the favorite.
The filly races as a Michigan homebred for owner Jenny Barbeau, and she is trained by Tommy Gross. The connections also campaign A Magical Vow, who won the Sickle's Image Stakes on Friday night at Hazel Park.
Saturday's win improved Poof Its Magic's lifetime record to four wins in six starts, with earnings of $51,272. It was her third straight victory, and her second stakes score, following the Regret Stakes on June 30 at Hazel Park.