Midnight Bisou will head to Churchill next month as one of the likely favorites for the GI Kentucky Oaks after an eye-catching victory in the GI Santa Anita Oaks Saturday. Running second last early as Thirteen Squared (Liaison) clocked early fractions of :23.47 and :47.63, the 3-5 chalk circled the field to move into contention on the backstretch run. Two wide turning for home, the dark bay swept to the lead in the stretch and rolled clear to score. GII Sorrento S. winner Spectator (Jimmy Creed) made a strong run for second and Thirteen Squared held for third. Winning rider Mike Smith scored a Grade I double, having captured the GI Santa Anita Derby two races earlier aboard undefeated ‘TDN Rising Star’ Justify (Scat Daddy).
“I am shaking. I’m speechless,” said part owner Jeff Bloom. “I just won the Santa Anita Oaks. I think she is [the best filly in the country]. I know this much, she’s a good one. Mike looked like he was very comfortable with her where he was and when he started asking her, I could see that she started motoring and I felt pretty good. I don’t even know how I feel about the Kentucky Oaks because you don’t think of it that way until you do. But now it’s a reality and I’m living it, enjoying it and pinching myself constantly.”
“She’s special, I’m telling you,” Smith said. “Although she was probably a little farther back than anyone expected, it was almost…I’m not going to compare it to riding Zenyatta, but I used to be way back there and I wasn’t worried because I knew that she could catch them. She gives me that great turn of foot, and I want to give her something to run at or she’ll put the air brakes on.”
Missing by a nose to recently sidelined and undefeated Grade I winner Dream Tree (Uncle Mo) in her first two starts, including the Nov. 18 Desi Arnaz S., Midnight Bisou earned her diploma with a decisive victory in the GII Santa Ynez S. going seven panels here Jan. 7. The $80,000 OBSAPR buy followed suit with a 2 1/4-length defeat of Thirteen Squared in the GIII Santa Ysabel S. last time Mar. 3.
Midnight Bisou is the third Grade I winner for Hill ‘n’ Dale’s Midnight Lute, following Midnight Lucky and Shakin It Up. The winner is out of GSW Diva Delite, who is also responsible for the 2-year-old gelding Stage Left (Congrats) and a yearling colt by Warrior’s Reward. She was bred back to Wicked Strong.
Saturday, Santa Anita
SANTA ANITA OAKS-GI, $401,380, SA, 4-7, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:44.79, ft.
1–MIDNIGHT BISOU, 121, f, 3, by Midnight Lute
1st Dam: Diva Delite (GSW, $300,067), by Repent
2nd Dam: Tour Hostess, by Tour d’Or
3rd Dam: Counsel’s Gal, by High Counsel
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($19,000 RNA Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $80,000 2yo
’17 OBSAPR). O-Allen Racing LLC & Bloom Racing Stable LLC
(Jeffrey Bloom); B-Woodford Thoroughbreds, LLC. (KY);
T-William Spawr; J-Mike E. Smith. $240,000. Lifetime Record:
5-3-2-0, $450,000. Werk Nick Rating: C.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Spectator, 121, f, 3, by Jimmy Creed
1st Dam: Diva’s Tribute, by Henny Hughes
2nd Dam: Swiss Diva, by Swiss Yodeler
3rd Dam: One Stop, by Mr. Leader
O-Rick & Sharon Waller; B-Eric & Sharon Waller (KY); T-Philip
3–Thirteen Squared, 121, f, 3, by Liaison
1st Dam: House of Fortune, by Free House
2nd Dam: So Fortunate, by Garthorn
3rd Dam: Delicate Vine, by Knights Choice
O/B-Arnold Zetcher LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $48,000.
Margins: 3HF, 3HF, 7. Odds: 0.60, 3.50, 6.40.
Also Ran: Exuberance, Fool’s Paradise, First Dudette, We All Have Dreams, Finess Bere (Fr), Spring Lily. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.