April 12, 2024

Fiona’s Magic makes all in Davona Dale

Fiona's Magic wins The Davona Dale S. at Gulfstream Park
Fiona's Magic wins The Davona Dale S. at Gulfstream Park (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

In the absence of reigning juvenile champion Just F Y I, who was a late scratch after reportedly coming down with a fever, Fiona’s Magic scored a wire-to-wire upset in the $210,000 Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

Despite Just F Y I’s late withdrawal, the Davona Dale nonetheless had a heavy favorite in Leslie’s Rose, who was sent off at 3-10. However, Fiona’s Magic seized control at the start and never looked back after repelling a late bid from second choice Into Champagne by a half-length. Leslie’s Rose settled for third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the runner-up.

A Florida homebred campaigned by Stonehedge LLC, Fiona’s Magic completed the course in 1:37.16 over a fast track and paid $20.20. Trained by Michael Yates, she was ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.

Fiona’s Magic earned 50 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1) by winning the Davona Dale, which honors the 1979 Oaks winner. Into Champagne earned 25 points, while Leslie’s Rose secured 15 points. Queen’s Martini earned 10 points for fourth, and Whocouldaskformo earned five points by finishing fifth. New Diamond was the distant trailer.

The Davona Dale was the first stakes win for Fiona’s Magic, who had run second to R Harper Rose in her stakes debut, the Feb. 3 Forward Gal (G3) over seven furlongs. She had won her two previous starts, a maiden and an allowance, after running second on debut in July.

A daughter of St Patrick’s Day and Mollie’s Magic, by Factum, Fiona’s Magic is a half-sister to the stakes-winning Cajun’s Music.

In other stakes action:

Emmanuel fired fresh off a layoff dating to August when prevailing by a half-length in the $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3), a race he also won last year by the same margin.

The 2.60-1 favorite under Irad Ortiz Jr., Emmanuel won from Siege of Boston, who was followed by Ice Chocolat. Final time for 1 1/16 miles on firm ground was 1:39.04.

Owned by Siena Farm and WinStar Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher, Emmanuel has now won five stakes. In addition to his two Canadian Turfs, the son of More Than Ready has also won the Pennine Ridge (G2), Tampa Bay (G3), and Poker (G3).

Ortiz enjoyed another win aboard Chili Flag, the French-bred mare who rallied from near the back of the field to win the $150,000 Honey Fox (G3) for fillies and mares by a neck as a 2-1 favorite.

Winner of the Forever Together S. at Aqueduct in November and sixth last out in the Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G2), Chili Flag enjoyed the class relief when scoring over last-out Endeavour (G3) heroine Walkathon. The final time for one mile on the grass was 1:32.78.

Racing for the partnership of Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, and Michael Kisber, Chili Flag is trained by Chad Brown.

Steal Sunshine, the 3-2 favorite, edged close second choice Tumbarumba by a nose to take the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) on the main track under Paco Lopez. This was a reversal of form from the Jan. 27 Fred W. Hooper (G3), which Tumbarumba won with Steal Sunshine three parts of a length behind in third.

Owned by Michael Iavarone, Julia Iavarone, and Carrie Brogden, Steal Sunshine returned $5 after finishing up in 1:35.74. It was the Bob Dibona trainee’s first graded win after earlier non-graded scores in the Carry Back S. and Ellis Park Derby back in 2022.

Starting Over gave trainer Mike Maker his fifth win in the past six runnings of the $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2), flying late to nab Tawny Port by a neck. It was another neck back to Anglophile, who nosed out 3.60-1 favorite Kingmax for third.

Owned by Nice Guys Stables and ridden by Edgard Zayas, Starting Over covered 1 3/8 miles on the turf in 2:12.29. It was the second stakes win for the seven-year-old gelding, who landed the 12-furlong Colonial Cup at Colonial Downs last September.

R Calli Kim proved classiest in the $150,000 The Very One (G3) for older fillies and mares, rallying to win the 1 3/8-mile grass fixture by two lengths over Anatolian, with Cairo Consort a close third.

Owned by Averill Racing and Two Eight Racing, R Calli Kim paid $4.40 after completing the course in 2:13.01 under Tyler Gaffalione. The seven-year-old Brendan Walsh trainee captured the Long Island (G3) at Aqueduct in November and was coming off a second-place finish in the La Prevoyante (G3) at Gulfstream.

Pounce, who had won two prior races while racing on or near the lead, showed a different dimension in the $200,000 Herecomesthebride (G3), rallying from the tail of the field to win the three-year-old filly feature by a neck over Life’s an Audible. Ozara, the 11-10 favorite, weakened to third after making the lead in midstretch.

Owned by Resolute Racing, trained by Mark Casse, and ridden by Javier Castellano, Pounce paid $20 after completing one mile on the turf in 1:33.17.

Abrumar led throughout to take the $200,000 Colonel Liam S. for three-year-olds, scoring by a neck over favorite Cugino. Silent Heart finished a head farther back in third.

Owned by Ken Ramsey, trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., and ridden by Paco Lopez, Abrumar won for the third time in four starts in a time of 1:37.11 for one mile over the turf. He paid $8.