Triple Crown surprise Magic Weisner gets back on track

Horse Racing

July 20, 2002|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Magic Weisner makes his first start today since his Triple Crown heroics in the Grade II, $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown near Cleveland.

Five 3-year-olds were entered in the 1 1/8 -mile race, but Magic Weisner is the even-money favorite based on his runner-up finish in the Preakness and fourth-place finish in the Belmont.

His Laurel trainer, Nancy Alberts, said that despite the favorite's role, Magic Weisner has his work cut out. Thistledown favors speed, and few horses have as much speed as Magic's chief rival, Wiseman's Ferry, who set the pace in the Belmont.

"If you come out of the gate here in front, and you're going long, nobody catches you," Alberts said yesterday by phone. "Magic looks like far the best in the race, but Wiseman's Ferry's heart gets real big when he gets in front. And it doesn't look like there's anybody to go with him."

Alberts transported Magic Weisner by van Wednesday on the 6 1/2 -hour trip to Thistledown. She brought along Deliver Hope, Magic's brother, to keep him company.

The next morning she galloped them both, first Deliver Hope, then Magic Weisner. She heard later that the locals couldn't stop talking about the "crazy trainer who galloped that horse twice." Alberts couldn't stop laughing as she related the story.

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