Bell Gable Stable LLC’s Somekindofmagician has proven he’s only getting better with age as the hard-knocking 7-year-old gelding won a three-horse photo by a nose to secure a long-awaited victory in the $100,000 Maryland Million Turf at Laurel Park on Saturday, Oct. 23.
Just two months after notching his first career stakes win in the Find at Pimlico, Somekindofmagician was sent off as the 4-1 second choice in the field of 10 and raced near the back of the pack, to the outside of Johng, while early pacesetter Trifor Gold led through a quarter-mile in :23.90 and half in :48.31 over the firm turf. Somekindofmagician began to make his move up the outside as they hit three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.11 as the field spread across the track and turned for home.
As 2-1 favorite Cannon’s Roar took the lead in upper stretch, Somekindofmagician cut to the outside of Benny Havens and longshot Up Against It as Street Copper found a rail spot and moved up Cannon’s Roar’s inside. The group surged ahead, with Johng making a late move to the outside of Somekindofmagician, but it was Somekindofmagician, with Angel Cruz aboard, who managed to stick his nose in front, with Johng nipping Street Copper in the photo. Cannon’s Roar was a half-length back in fourth. Final time for the mile and an eighth was 1:49 flat.
“I’ve always thought when you want an older horse to peak you have to keep him happy, and this horse is a happy horse,” said trainer Gary Contessa. “We just figured out what he likes and what he doesn’t like and we’ve tried to keep him on the straight and narrow with the things that he likes and he’s just delivered. And in my career I’ve had many horses like him, turf horses, who get good at six, seven and eight years old. He’s had the year of his life this year.”
The Turf win came in Somekindofmagician’s fifth attempt, following seconds in 2017 (by a head) and 2019 (by one and three-quarter lengths), and sixths in 2018 and 2020. The two-time stakes winner, who has made 35 starts over six seasons, has improved his record to 7-5-5 with $339,486 earned.
Originally purchased by R. Larry Johnson as a 2-year-old for $14,000 out of the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Winter Mixed sale in January, Somekindofmagician was unplaced in two starts that year before returning as a 3-year-old and breaking his maiden in his fourth attempt in July 2017. The season continued with an allowance victory at Belmont prior to his stakes debut in the Maryland Million Turf, where he finished second to Spartianos, missing by a head in a five-horse photo finish. He shipped to Gulfstream Park for his final start of the year and finished fifth in the Tropical Park Derby.
He was winless in his next 11 starts for Johnson and trainer Mike Trombetta, including another attempt in the Maryland Million Turf, before he was claimed for $25,000 by Bell Gable Stable and trainer Jamie Ness at Colonial Downs on Aug. 24, 2019. His first three starts for his new connections included a second-place finish, at 32-1 in the Maryland Million Turf behind Mr. d’Angelo.
Coming off of a nearly nine-month layoff, Somekindofmagician returned in July 2020. He made six starts last year, picking up a win, a second and two thirds prior to his fourth attempt in the Maryland Million Turf, winding up sixth of 12. Turned over to Contessa this spring, he struck out twice in two starts at Belmont Park and Delaware before scoring successive claimer wins while in for a $20,000 tag at Delaware Park July 21 and Aug. 7, with the first going a mile and seventy yards on the turf in 1:41.07 and the second going one and one-sixteenth miles on the turf in 1:41.43. His career has been made on the turf as 29 of his 33 lifetime starts, and all six of his wins, have been on the grass.
Bred by the late Earl Barnhart, Somekindofmagician is the second winner from five starters out of his dam Love Is Kind, a Barnhart homebred stakes-placed daughter of Not For Love. The mare had produced six foals through 2016.