Parx Horse of the Year Aoife’s Magic Points to Busher

February 23, 2024

Aofie’s Magic remains undefeated with a win in the Miss Behaviour Dec. 27 at Parx (Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO)

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— A and J Racing Stable’s Aoife’s Magic brings a four-race win streak into next Saturday’s Listed $200,000 Busher, at Aqueduct Racetrack. The one-turn mile for sophomore fillies offers 50-25-15-10-5 qualifying points to the top-five finishers towards the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.

Trained by David Dotolo, Aoife’s Magic was recently named the 2023 Parx Horse of the Year for a 4-for-4 campaign at the Bensalem, Pennsylvania track that saw her bank $261,600.

Dotolo, who oversees a five-horse stable, said the Busher will be a class test for Aoife’s Magic, who was the conditioner’s first ever 2-year-old winner.

“We’re wondering how good she is and hopefully we’ll find out a little bit more about her next weekend. She’s done everything we’ve asked her to do so far,” Dotolo said.

A Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Smarty Jones, Aoife’s Magic launched her career with a 10 3/4-length romp sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs against fellow state-breds on September 11 over a good main track.

She followed with a pair of 4 1/4-length scores, taking the state-bred Imply at 6 1/2-furlongs on September 23 over sloppy and sealed footing ahead of an open-company score traveling six furlongs on a fast track in an optional-claimer on November 15.

Last out on December 27, the $16,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale purchase made her two-turn debut in the one-mile and 70 yard Miss Behaviour and passed the test with flying colors over good and sealed going.

With regular pilot Wilfred Vasquez up, Aoife’s Magic marked the opening quarter-mile in 25.13 seconds and despite being headed down the backstretch, she was back in command through three-quarters in 1:17.95 and easily drew clear to a three-length score in a final time of 1:51.38.

Aoife’s Magic has posted modest Beyer Speed Figures thus far, earning a career-best 64 for her optional-claiming score. Dotolo said a return to one-turn won’t bother the talented chestnut.

“I don’t think it matters to her. She just loves to run,” Dotolo said. “I think this race will set up well for her. She likes to run with 6-to-8 weeks between races, it seems to really get her on edge.”

Aoife’s Magic worked a half-mile in 51.05 Thursday at Parx with her regular pilot Vasquez at the helm.

“It was just a handy breeze, he was just sitting on her,” Dotolo said. “Wilfred came back and said, ‘Dave, she’s ready.’ He comes every morning and gets on her and for some reason, they seem to click.”

Although not yet nominated to the Kentucky Oaks on the First Friday in May at Churchill Downs, Dotolo said he is considering the option given a good result next weekend.

“If you’re thinking about the Oaks, you have to win open company,” Dotolo said.

Aoife’s Magic, bred by Mohns Hill Farm, is out of the winning Drosselmeyer mare Polarized.

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