As difficult as it might be to believe, if Saratoga 155 were a one-mile heat, the field would be at the six-furlong pole. Indeed, one quarter of the 2018 meet already is part of history.

By way of reaching the final quarter and lynchpin Travers Stakes, we’ve seen a good, now confident Hofburg; a curious, talented, albeit drifting Tenfold and a conflicted Vino Rosso, who runs as if he’s imbibed too much of his namesake.

If the latter two can clean up their act a bit, they will be moving in a forward direction as the finish line of the Midsummer Derby approaches in the distance.

Meanwhile, a defending champion was glistening at the Shore, looking very much like a bronze Adonis as he returned to the winner’s circle after handling a couple of Triple Crown participants as if they were equine sacrifice.

That is not to disparage either Bravazo or Lone Sailor, which for the most part usually show up, even if it’s in a supporting role. As for Core Beliefs, perhaps he has compiled a big too much frequent flyer miles of late.

As for Haskell hero Good Magic, who’s been very good right from the start, he was his bright, shiny-penny self, acting very much like the division’s heir apparent to retired Triple Crown champion Justify.

While color is the one thing that places him on the same playing field as Justify, that short-lived rivalry--if one can call it that, is where comparisons end. He was a game, gritty challenger, even if a vanquished rival at the end.

On the racetrack, it was ultimately an old racetrack maxim playing itself out: A good big horse will beat a good smaller horse.

Good Magic certainly looked good winning the Haskell Invitational under careful but confident handling from Jose Ortiz, who now has a decision to make: Will it be Good Magic, or will it be Hofburg on August 25?

It’s not an easy choice, even if Good Magic like will be one. Ortiz is in demand by all and is not closely associated with any one outfit. He may ride a bit more for Chad Brown and Good Magic is the more brilliant of the two. But Hofburg likely has more upside.

What makes Ortiz’s decision more complicated are his rides aboard Mott’s champion filly, Elate, who returned with 4-year-old fury in the storied Delaware Handicap in her first start off the bench.

Trainers understanding these situations but don’t necessarily like them. Horsemen don’t wish to “insult” a top rider or one that fits their horse very well. But they will punish a rider if they believe it’s warranted.

Speaking of brilliant horsemen, Brown finds himself atop the trainer standings at Saratoga with 10 winners, two more than the Asmussen outfit whose horses not only have been winning but have been dominating.

After a quiet winter and relatively slow spring, Mott (seven wins) has come alive at Saratoga, running more horses than usual and most have been live.

Todd Pletcher is four off the lead while Joe Sharp, who clearly has pointed his barn toward Saratoga, and Robertino Diodoro, showing that he can win at any venue he chooses, are tied for fifth with four winners each.

As for jockeys, we had to laugh the other day when a television analyst made the point that prior Spa champion Ortiz is having a bad meet. Indeed, his four winners are nine off the pace of meet-leading Luis Saez with 13.

All things being unequal, I’m sure Ortiz wouldn’t mind trading a big day at Saratoga for four stakes wins at Monmouth, including the centerpiece event, in Oceanport on Haskell day. Two big Spa days and Jose’s back in that hunt.

Meanwhile, big brother Irad Jr., somewhat quietly, is only one off Saez’s pace. There’s a logjam for third among Javier Castellano, Johnny Velazquez and Ricardo Santana Jr. Each has 10 winners.

Not much math expertise is required to note that the meet has been formful. Thirty-five favorites have won the 100 races contested. But, of course, tomorrow’s another day as the meet begins to heat up in earnest. First post, per usual, is 1 p.m.