Stonehedge LLC’s Fiona’s Magic trained over the Churchill Downs surface for the first time Sunday morning for trainer Michael Yates, galloping a mile-and-a-quarter under exercise ride Alejandro Mariano.

The Florida-bred daughter of Journeyman Stud’s St Patrick’s Day drew post four Saturday night in the Grade 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks to be run Friday, giving Yates a Florida-bred starter in the race for the second consecutive year.

Last year, he took Dorth Vader to the Oaks for owner and breeder John Ropes and saw her finish fifth, just three-and-a-half lengths behind winner Pretty Mischievous after running prominently throughout the mile-and-one-eighth test.

Fiona’s Magic qualified for the Oaks with a wire-to-wire score in the one-mile Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park on March 2 after finishing second to fellow Florida-bred R Harper Rose in the Grade 3 Forward Gal at Gulfstream on Feb. 7. Also bred by Marilyn Campbell’s Stonehedge LLC, Fiona’s Magic exits a disappointing off-the-board effort in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks on March 30.

Campbell is scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Thursday according to Yates.

Yates said he would give Fiona’s Magic gate and paddock schooling sessions this week prior to the Oaks. Her last work was Tuesday at Gulfstream Park when she breezed six furlongs in 1:15.16, the fastest of two works at the distance that morning.

Fiona’s Magic is out of Mollie’s Magic, by Factum and has won half of her six career starts with two seconds while earning $253,410.

Four Florida-bred fillies have won the Kentucky Oaks starting with Wedlock in 1959 followed by Native Street (1964), Susan’s Girl (1972) and Quaze Quilt (1974).

Return to the April 28 issue of Wire to Wire