By Steve Sherack
ELMONT, NY – Apparently Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) didn't get the memo about Belmont Park's perceived inside, speed bias this weekend.
The popular dark bay, owned in partnership by Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing, exploded down the lane to post a breathtaking come-from-behind 3 1/2-length victory in Saturday's GI Ogden Phipps S., a 'Win and You're In' for the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. Midnight Bisou is unbeaten in eight career attempts at 1 1/16 miles.
Come Dancing (Malibu Moon), favored at 4-5 off the heels of a pair of runaway wins in her last two, including the GIII Distaff H. with a gaudy 114 Beyer Speed Figure and the local GII Ruffian S. in the slop May 5, was second after setting the pace. It was another 3/4 of a length back to longshot Mopotism (Uncle Mo) in third.
“She makes you so proud,” winning trainer Steve Asmussen said. “She changes people's lives. She's just a special horse and I'm proud to be associated with her. I believe she's added to how great she is with consistency. She's expecting to win, and I think the results speak for themselves.
Asmussen continued, “She will go back to Churchill immediately after this. The amount of time we've had her there, she'll most likely have a breeze or two at Churchill before deciding on her next race.”
Midnight Bisou, off as the 8-5 second choice, tracked on the inside in fourth in the compact field of five as Come Dancing, who stumbled at the break, led comfortably through fractions of :23.39 and :45.96. Racing under confident handling by Mike Smith on the rail approaching the quarter pole, Midnight Bisou was tipped out to take on the pacesetter at the top of the lane, and, with a quick shake of the reins, turned on the jets in the stretch to win as much-the-best while stopping the timer in a very sharp final clocking.
Midnight Bisou has three other top-level wins on her resume, including last term's GI Santa Anita Oaks and GI Cotillion S. at Parx via disqualification. She captured her previous first three starts of her 4-year-old campaign, headed by a nose victory over Escape Clause (Going Commando) in the GI Apple Blossom H. at Oaklawn last time Apr. 14. The 2018 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff third-place finisher romped by six lengths in her lone previous attempt at Belmont Park in last June's GII Mother Goose S.
“She just seems to be getting better with age, and she just loves it here at Belmont,” Smith said. “I don't know what it is, but Big Sandy seems to bring out the best in her. She broke good, in the bridle. And she stayed parked inside waiting for a chance to let it run. I thought the filly in front would be good enough to put some space between us, so I can get out when I wanted to, and that's what happened. She's a really nice filly.”
Midnight Bisou is one of three Grade I winners for two-time GI Breeders' Cup Sprint hero Midnight Lute. The winner's dam 2010 GIII Florida Oaks heroine Diva Delite (Repent), in foal to Pioneerof the Nile, was purchased by Breeze Easy for $750,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton November sale. Diva Delite has a 2-year-old colt by Warrior's Reward, just a $1,500 purchase by Dalton Lawrence at this year's OBS April Sale, and a yearling filly by Wicked Strong. Her now 3-year-old Stage Left (Congrats) was third in last year's Sapling S.
Saturday, Belmont Park
OGDEN PHIPPS S.-GI, $651,000, Belmont, 6-8, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:39.69, ft.
1–MIDNIGHT BISOU, 123, f, 4, 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
($19,000 RNA Ylg '16 KEESEP; $80,000 2yo '17 OBSAPR).
O-Bloom Racing Stable, LLC, Madaket Stables LLC & Allen
Racing LLC.; B-Woodford Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Steven M.
Asmussen; J-Mike E. Smith. $375,000. Lifetime Record:
15-9-3-3, $2,780,000. Werk Nick Rating: D+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Come Dancing, 117, m, 5, by Malibu Moon
1st Dam: Tizahit, by Tiznow
2nd Dam: Never a No Hitter, by Kris S.
3rd Dam: Jeano, by Fappiano
O/B-Blue Devil Racing Stable (KY); T-Carlos F. Martin.
3–Mopotism, 117, m, 5, by Uncle Mo
1st Dam: Peppy Rafaela, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Peppy Lapeau, by French Deputy
3rd Dam: Peppy Raja, by Raja Baba
($135,000 Wlg '14 KEENOV; $200,000 Ylg '15 FTSAUG;
$300,000 2yo '16 FTFMAR). O-Reddam Racing LLC; B-Frank T.
Batten (KY); T-Doug F. O'Neill. $70,000.
Margins: 3HF, 3/4, 6 3/4. Odds: 1.70, 0.80, 21.30.
Also Ran: Escape Clause, Pacific Wind. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.