Muddy track? No problem.
Two turns? Piece of cake.
Midnight Bisou, dk b/br, 3/f
Midnight Lute — Diva Delite, by Repent
Owner: Bloom Racing Stable LLC or Allen Racing LLC
Breeder: Woodford Thoroughbreds, LLC. (KY)
Trainer: William Spawr
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Information provided by Equibase at time of entry.
Midnight Lute stands at Hill 'n' Dale Farms for $15,000 (2018).
OBSAPR2017 • $80,000 • Consignor: Woodford Thoroughbreds, agent • Buyer: Jeffrey Bloom, agent.
KEESEP2016 • ($19,000 RNA) • Consignor: Woodford Thoroughbreds, agent.
Midnight Bisou skipped through the slop with her ears pricked March 3 to win the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park by 2 1/4 lengths, and the way she did it has her connections dreaming of lilies on the first Friday in May.
"I would say definitely on to the Santa Anita Oaks (G1, April 7), and then there's a state east of here, Kentucky, and (the May 4 Longines Kentucky Oaks, G1) will be the plan," co-owner Jeff Bloom said.
The Santa Ysabel awarded points on a 50-20-10-5 scale for the Kentucky Oaks, and Midnight Bisou topped the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with 60 points at the conclusion of Saturday's racing. The
3-year-old Midnight Lute filly is followed on the leaderboard by Midnight Disguise, another daughter of Midnight Lute who won the Busher Stakes on the same day at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Never worse than second, Midnight Bisou broke her maiden Jan. 7 for Bloom Racing Stable and Allen Racing by winning the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) by 4 1/2 lengths, then followed up with Saturday's win for her second consecutive graded stakes score. Midnight Bisou is trained by Bill Spawr and was ridden to victory by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who won the 2017 edition with champion Unique Bella and the 2016 running with champion Songbird. Smith recalled racing against Midnight Lute, who won the 2007 TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) in the slop at Monmouth Park.
"Her father really loved the mud. It might have even moved him up," he said. "We were hoping the same for her, and it seemed like she got over it no problem."
Sent off as the 1-5 favorite in a five-horse field after undefeated grade 1 winner Dream Tree was scratched because of the wet-fast (sealed) track, Midnight Bisou sat third on the outside as Spring Lily showed the way through a quarter in :23.26 with Thirteen Squared off her outside hip. As a half went in :47.01, Midnight Bisou had two lengths to make up on the leader, and Smith uncoiled her closing run through three quarters in 1:11.10 en route to the lead.
Sailing past Thirteen Squared, who ended up maintaining the place spot, the eventual winner drew off under a hand ride and returned $2.60, $2.20, and $2.10. After Thirteen Squared came Spring Lily, Sweetsongofthenile, and One Fast Broad.
"The big question was the two turns, and she answered that question really well," Smith said. "I'm getting to know her more and more. She settled really nice and did everything better than I expected going the two turns. She's getting better even sooner than I thought she would."
"It was nice to see her relax," Bloom added. "She was a little bit keyed up in the paddock, but when I saw her come to those horses in the turn, I thought, 'I think she's handling the two turns,' and from there it was just fun watching."
Bloom purchased Midnight Bisou for $80,000 from Woodford Thoroughbreds' consignment to the Ocala Breeders' Sales April 2017 Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. Bred by Woodford out of the Repent mare Diva Delite, the dark bay or brown filly was a $19,000 RNA from the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale. With her two wins and two runner-up efforts from four starts, she has earned $210,000.