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Making A Big Name For Herself

Published: May 19, 2017 10:29 am ET

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She shares the same sire, turn-out paddock, conditioner and nearly identical ownership group as 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, plus Magic Presto possesses the tools to conjure her very own kind of hocus-pocus as she trots through her sophomore season. This young lady should certainly not stand in her now retired stablemate’s shadow, for the filly’s mere physical presence commands attention.

“She is a big girl,” said Nifty Norman, her trainer. “She definitely grew over the winter and we just measured her a week ago; she stands at 17 hands. She is also very broad, but she still has some filling out to do, which I think will make her even better as a four-year-old. We even had to build a new bike for her because of her size.”

The individuals creating the morning line for this Saturday’s (May 20) $130,130 SBOA three-year-old filly trot final for Ontario-breds at Mohawk Racetrack definitely took notice as the daughter of Kadabra-In The Mean Time is the early 3-5 favourite. Trevor Henry will steer Magic Presto on her journey from post three against nine rivals in the evening’s second race.

Bred by Herb Liverman, Magic Presto was a $160,000 yearling purchase at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg for Liverman, Mel Hartman, David McDuffee and Little E LLC. Her dam was second in the 2009 edition of the Goldsmith Maid, which this filly won last year, and was second in a $60,388 division of the Zweig Memorial Filly Trot at age three. Magic Presto is a full sibling to Could It Be Magic ($170,682) who captured a division of the Champlain Stakes and her Peaceful Way elimination as a two-year-old. She was fourth in the final behind O’Brien Award winner Caprice Hill.

Magic Presto certainly has compiled an outstanding resume of her own as she has earned $406,989 from a record of 11-5-2-2. Although seventh in her Breeders Crown elimination last year, which precluded her from competing in the final, the filly rebounded to score her Goldsmith Maid triumph in the last race of her freshman campaign. Prior to her fall schedule, she demonstrated she was one to watch with solid performances in the Champlain and Peaceful Way (fourth and third, respectively) before winning a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes contest.

“She is just such an intelligent horse, who has done anything we have ever asked of her,” Norman said. “The only time we have ever had anything not go perfectly with her is when she was sick for several weeks towards the end of last year, but that stuff happens and you just wait it out. She is a sweetheart and is very nicely gaited.”

Magic Presto began her 2017 campaign with a very nice third place finish in a non-winners race at The Meadowlands for three- and four-year-olds on May 5. She trotted home in :27, which was the swiftest final quarter-mile of any horse in the field.

“I was very pleased with that race as I thought she finished very well,” Norman said. “We did not really have her very tight for that either, as we were more concerned with the Ontario Sires Stakes.”

The filly collected her first win of the season and fifth of her brief career on May 13 in the elimination for Saturday’s event. Magic Presto, with Trevor Henry at the lines, sat in third until shortly before the three-quarter pole then made her bid for the lead while coming first-over. She glided on by her rivals and hit the wire an easy winner by 2-1/2 lengths. Without Henry ever really asking her, Magic Presto turned in a final quarter-mile time of :27.4.

“Again the real goal last weekend was just to get into the final,” Norman said. “It’s a long year and we don’t want to be too hard on her.”

If all goes well, Magic Presto will be appearing on a number of occasions both in her native land (Canada) and due south of the border.

“Of course we have the Ontario Sires Stakes for her,” Norman said. “But she is in just about everything else you would want a filly to be eligible for like the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown. Of course that all depends on how things go and how she is doing as the year goes on. Obviously Ariana G is a standout in this division, but we think our filly measures up with the top part of the group and hopefully we have a very nice season.

“You cannot really compare her to Bee A Magician because of the type of horse Bee A Magician is and was. This filly is a very nice horse; we think she will continue to do very well and make a name for herself on her own.”

To see the fields for Saturday evening’s full Mohawk card, which also contains a $132,130 SB0A final for three-year-old pacing fillies and an appearance by O'Brien Award finalist Shamballa, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Mohawk Racetrack.

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

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