Stonehedge LLC’s Fiona’s Magic will try to become the first Florida-bred since Quaze Quilt in 1974 to win the prestigious Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade 1) for 3-year-old fillies Friday at Churchill Downs. A full gate of 14 plus two on the also eligible have entered to run in the 150th edition of the mile-and-an-eighth Oaks which has also been won by Florida-breds Wedlock (1959), Native Street (1964) and champion Susan’s Girl (1972).

Trained by Michael Yates, Fiona’s Magic qualified for the Kentucky Oaks with a half-length victory in the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park on March 2 and a second-place finish to fellow Florida-bred R Harper Rose in the Grade 3 Forward Gal on Feb. 3. However, she was a disappointing eighth most recently in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks won by Kentucky Oak-rival Power Squeeze.

Power Squeeze is a graduate of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales company where she sold for $90,000 out of the consignment of Hal Hatch’s Halcyon Hammock Farm located in Bronson, Fla.

This will be the second consecutive year Yates has brought a Florida-bred filly to Kentucky for the Oaks having trained John Ropes’ Dorth Vader to a strong fifth-place finish last year.

Fiona’s Magic is by Journeyman Stud’s St Patrick’s Day out of Mollie’s Magic, by Factum and has won half of her six career starts with two seconds and earnings of $253,410.

She broke her maiden by seven lengths in November in her second career start then won a first level, $75,000 optional claiming by two-and-a-half lengths in December, both at Gulfstream.

Yates has given the riding assignment on Fiona’s Magic to Luis Saez and they will break from post seven. Fiona’s Magic is 30-1 on the morning line.

Second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks was Ways and Means for trainer Chad Brown and a graduate of FTBOA board member Nick de Meric’s de Meric Thoroughbred Sales early training program in Ocala, Fla.

Ways and Means is 5-1 on the morning line and will be ridden from post 11 by Davie, Fla., native Tyle Gaffalione.

Trainer Brad Cox will saddle two fillies for the Oaks including 7-2 morning line favorite Tarifa and 30-1 longshot Gin Gin.

Tarifa has won four of five career starts including the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks in her last start on March 23 and the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra over a sloppy track on Feb. 17, both going a mile-and-a-sixteenth at Fair Grounds.

Tarifa is a homebred for Godolphin and will be ridden from post eight by Flavien Prat.

Cox has given the riding assignment on Gin Gin to Florent Geroux as they try to improve on her third-place finish behind Oaks-contenders Where’s My Ring and Regulatory Risk in the Grade 3 Gazelle at Aqueduct on April 6.

Another filly with Ocala connections is Leslie’s Rose, who is 4-1 on the morning line for Mandy Pope’s local Whisper Hill Farm. 

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Leslie’s Rose exits a strong three-length score in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland on April 5 in her last start. Previously, she was third behind Fiona’s Magic in the Davona Dale.

Leslie’s Rose will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. from post 14.

Thorpedo Anna comes into the Oaks off of a four-length victory in the Grade 2 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park for trainer Ken McPeek. McPeek trained the daughter of Fast Anna at his Silverleaf Hills Training Center in Summerfield, Fla.

Thorpedo, who is 5-1 in the program, has post five and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. has the call.

The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Lemon Muffin passed through the auction ring at OBS when she sold for $140,000 to Bruno DeBerdt as agent out of the consignment of Stori Atchison’s Dark Star Thoroughbreds based in Morriston, Fla.

Lemon Muffin has post six and Keith Asmussen will ride.

Niall Brennan Stables and his Ocala-based training program is represented by Regulatory Risk, who was second to Where’s My Ring in the Grade 3 Gazelle at Aqueduct on April 6.

Trained by Chad Brown, Regulatory Risk will be ridden by Jose Ortiz from post four.

Fiona’s Magic is one of seven Florida-breds set to run in stakes Friday at Churchill Downs. Dorth Vader and Frosty O Toole are entered to run in the Grade 1 Fasig-Tipton La Troienne, Stone Silent will go in the Grade 3 Unbridled Sydney present by Resolute Racing, R Harper Rose and Halina Forte are set for the Grade 2 Eight Belles presented by Sysco and Dancing N Dixie will run in the Grade 2 Edgewood presented by TwinSpires.

Return to the May 2 issue of Wire to Wire