Bee A Magician - 2013
By Jay Bergman
The speed bias on Hambletonian Day could have been something Bee A Magician would have trouble overcoming. That wasn’t the case as the unbeaten-three-year-old filly scored in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands in 1:51 4/5. The mark made Bee A Magician the fastest winner of the prestigious stakes eclipsing the 1:53 mark taken by Windylane Hanover in 2002.
Driven by Brian Sears, Bee A Magician got away slowly from post two and allowed horses to settle in front through a :26 4/5 opening quarter.
Once the field turned into the backstretch To Dream On and driver Yannick Gingras got on the move from the four-hole and made a strong move towards the front. To Dream On cleared midway down the backstretch but Bee A Magician was hot on her heels.
Bee A Magician cleared to the half in :54 1/5 and then picked up the pace with driver Sears calling on her. “She gets over the ground so easy,” said Sears of the third quarter that the filly reached in 1:22 3/5.
With To Dream On lagging late on the final turn early leader Classic Martine and driver Ron Pierce angled off the rail to try his luck. Sears at that point appeared somewhat concerned and went to the whip to urge Bee A Magician on. The now nine-time winner in 2013 showed her courage keeping a safe distance that would turn into a three-and-one-quarter length margin by the finish wire.
Winning trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman didn’t hide his emotions in the winner’s circle. “I was a nervous wreck watching the race,” said Norman, who was more than happy to have his owners earn the $250,000 winner’s share of the Oaks as opposed to racing the filly against colts in the $1 million Hambletonian. For Norman it was his second straight Hambletonian Oaks victory after Personal Style captured the 2012 edition. It was also the second straight Oaks triumph for part-owner Melvin Hartman, who shares ownership in Bee A Magician with Herb Liverman and David McDuffee.
Bee A Magician increased her career earnings to $1,539,858 with her 19th career triumph in just 22 starts.
Sent off as an overwhelming 1-5 favorite Bee A Magician returned $2.40 to win.