From time to time, horses are not wildly successful on the racetrack but find success in the breeding sheds or in the foaling barns. These “unsuccessful” racehorses can go on to produce some of the top-earning horses in the industry. This phenomenon can be seen in the mare Stage Magic.
Stage Magic (2007) was bred and raised at the beautiful Glennwood Farms in Versailles, Kentucky. Her breeder, John D. Gunther, had purchased the mare Magical Illusion and bred her to Ghostzapper. Magical Illusion was not very successful on the racetrack, but Ghostzapper was the winner of nine of his eleven starts, seven of those wins being in graded stakes races (including the Breeders' Cup Classic).
Although the filly that came from this cross did not follow in the footsteps of her sire, her pedigree was incredible. Both Mr.Prospector and Northern Dancer appear twice in her pedigree. Seattle Slew and Secretariat also make appearances on Magical Illusion’s side. Clearly, royalty courses through Stage Magic’s veins.
When Stage Magic was a yearling, Glennwood attempted to sell her but she did not reach her reserve of $70,000. The decision was made to keep and race her. After achieving a record of 12:3-2-3 and earning about $134,000, Stage Magic was retired and went back home to join Glennwood’s broodmare band.
At Glennwood, Stage Magic has foaled multiple horses. Her most recognized and clearly most successful breeding was to Scat Daddy in which she produced Triple Crown winner Justify. She has also produced The Lieutenant who is a multiple-graded stakes winner.
Seeing her success with Justify, many racing fans are looking forward to her Will Take Charge colt, who failed to reach his reserve of $1,799,000 at the Keeneland September Sale in 2018 due to his sire being unproven. Glennwood looks forward racing the colt in 2019.
Stage Magic is also the dam of Egyptian Storm, a two-year old filly by none other than Pioneerof The Nile. Fans are anxiously awaiting her debut, wanting to see if she can live up to the heights of her brother Justify and the shared-sire American Pharaoh. Stage Magic’s 2018 foal is a full brother to Egyptian Storm.
In 2019, Stage Magic will give birth to a foal by Quality Road and will then be bred to Curlin.
Life for Stage Magic is quite simple. Her daily routine consists of being fed, groomed, turned out, and fed again. She lives comfortably at the 350-acre Glennwood Farm with their other small band of broodmares.
Tanya Gunther, who along with her father is the operator of Glennwood Farms says, “It is fascinating getting to know the foals, seeing their personalities develop, watching their steps, and first runs in the paddock”.
“In some ways the mares are the unsung heroes because they aren’t usually in the public eye but they are the ones that create these futures athletes, so huge respect to them.”
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Sources: Interview with Tanya Gunther Equibase profile of Stage Magic