By Bill Finley
Jeff Bloom doesn’t need any more time to decide what’s next for his star filly Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute). She’s headed to Saudi Arabia.
Bloom, whose Bloom Racing Stable partnership owns Midnight Bisou along with partners Madaket Stables and Allen Racing, told the TDN that Midnight Bisou will not run in the GI Pegasus World Cup and will instead make her next start in the $20-million Saudi Cup. The inaugural running of what will be the world’s richest race is set for Feb. 29.
“We’re going to start things off in 2020 in the Saudi Cup, the $20-million race,” Bloom said. “It’s as set in stone as anything can be. That’s our plan, for her to make her next start in that race.”
When asked why they decided not to kick off Midnight Bisou’s campaign closer to home in Gulfstream’s $9-million Pegasus World Cup, Bloom replied: “We probably don’t want to do both, the Pegasus and the Saudi Cup. This gives her a little more time to freshen up and it’s a pretty big pot we’re going after there. We love the fact that the Saudi Cup is a one-turn mile-and-an-eighth. It should be right up her alley.”
Just a few days ago, Bloom was looking to move on from Midnight Bisou, as she was entered in the Fasig-Tipton November Sale. On Saturday, only a few hours before Midnight Bisou was set to start in the GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Bloom announced via Twitter that the filly was being withdrawn from the sale and would stay in training in 2020 for her current owners.
“Having the Saudi Cup out there certainly didn’t hurt,” he said. “But that wasn’t the overriding factor. It came down to [the fact that] it’s pretty darn hard to get yourself a horse like this and we realized that. She’s only four. She’s a young filly. We felt as long as she enjoys her job why not enjoy the ride a little bit longer. She’ll still have her residual value. We’re just postponing things a bit. Eventually, she will sell to be a broodmare. It really came down to the fact that she’s just such a remarkable race horse. We love racing and that’s why we’re in it. We figured, ‘Why not? Let’s do it again.'”
Midnight Bisou, who was second in the Distaff, has never raced against males, but Bloom feels she is good enough to handle the boys.
“It’s not something that we’ve skirted away from,” he said. “It’s just that the timing is right now, with a $20-million race out there. She’s an exceptional filly, an exceptional race horse. She’s up to the challenge.”
Some horses that race in the Saudi Cup will likely head from there to Dubai for the $12-million G1 Dubai World Cup Mar. 28. While not ruling out a start in Dubai, Bloom said the focus for now is solely on the race in Saudi Arabia.
“We haven’t thought much about what the rest of the journey will be,” he said. “When it’s the right time, [trainer] Steve [Asmussen] and I will talk it over. Right now we’re just focused on the Saudi Cup.”