Midnight Bisou brought a two-for-two mark into Sunday’s $201,035 Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park, but they weren’t wins. The Bill Spawr-trained sophomore miss had missed by a nose in both of her initial efforts, but exited the seven-furlong Santa Ynez a 4 1/2-length victress.
With jockey Mike Smith holding the reins for the first time, the Midnight Lute filly ranged up to press the early pace set by War Heroine, who pulled clear from the field at the start to set an opening split of :22.38. Midnight Bisou settled into a stalking spot four wide on the backstretch as Steph Being Steph sailed up the inside to challenge War Heroine through the half in :45.26.
Midnight Bisou picked up the pace rounding the turn and ranged up to the outside of 8-5 favorite Win the War as War Heroine and Steph Being Steph battled on the front end. Those four lined up across the track entering the lane, but Midnight Bisou was traveling best of all and took command to pull away in a final time of 1:23.40 over the fast dirt.
Win the War and Steph Being Steph joined up in midstretch and fought it out to the line, with the latter getting the head-bobbing decision for second by a nose at 25-1. Yesterday’s News followed in fourth by another 3 1/4 lengths, and completing the order of finish were Allianna, War Heroine, Just a Smidge, Streetwithnoname.
Sent off the 9-5 second choice, Midnight Bisou paid $5.60 for breaking her maiden in this spot. She improved her career record to read 3-1-2-0, $150,000. The dark bay filly was second in her debut at Santa Anita last October 27 before concluding her juvenile campaign with another runner-up effort in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar on November 18.
Campaigned by Allen Racing LLC and Bloom Racing Stable LLC, Midnight Bisou earned 10 points toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). The Santa Ynez is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races and saw its winner debut in eighth on the Oaks Leaderboard.
Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Midnight Bisou is the first registered stakes winner out of the Grade 3-winning Repent mare Diva Delite. This is the same female family as champion and successful sire Cherokee Run.
SANTA YNEZ QUOTES
Mike Smith, jockey Midnight Bisou, winner
“Bill told me one simple thing. He told me to not be surprised if she was a whole lot closer than I would have thought today. ‘She’s pretty sharp and it’s OK if she is’. I’m really glad he told me that because I was up there pretty close and thought I was too close. I still hit the front a little soon but she’s a really good filly and she wants every bit of seven-eighths of a mile.”
Bill Spawr, trainer Midnight Bisou, winner
“Big win, no question. I was a little worried with the one (Artistic Diva) scratching, that there wouldn’t be enough speed. Mike’s never ridden her and he said she surprised him a little around the turn. He said she kinda dropped the bridle, so he gathered her up to get her running and she took off. She wants to route, no question. Being around her, the way she acts, her temperament, she’ll relish a route.”
Jeff Bloom, co-owner Midnight Bisou, winner
“Well I lost my voice. I felt pretty darn good, this is a helluva way to break her maiden. Bill has been so patient with her and she just exhibits so much class and maturity. We really felt that she deserved to be in a race like this. Mike gave her a great ride and this was a lot of fun.”