Midnight Lute

Midnight Lute Colt Goes Two for Two at Churchill

6th-Churchill Downs, $127,000, Alw (NW2L)/Opt. Clm ($80,000), 10-1, 2yo, 6f, 1:09.04, ft, 3/4 length. CHATTALOT (c, 2, Midnight Lute--Mamboalot {SP}, by Kingmambo) ran to 9-5 favoritism to score narrowly first out at Saratoga on opening Saturday July 17, but was let go at 6-1 facing a few formidable foes here. Finding a foothold at the rail while drafting behind the leaders in the garden spot early, the bay was bottled up a bit through a :45.09 half. He muscled his way out into the clear as GII Saratoga Special S....

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Big Field Set for Sorrento

A wide-open field of 11 juvenile fillies have been entered for Friday evening's GII Sorrento S. at Del Mar. Smash Ticket (Midnight Lute) is the 9-5 morning-line favorite off the heels of a field-best 78 Beyer Speed Figure earned in a five-length maiden score at second asking for trainer Todd Fincher at Del Mar July 17. She impressively dueled clear that day after breaking poorly. The dark bay was previously a debut second in the Lone Star mud June 5. "It was a pretty big ask for her to jump...

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Homebred Smooth Like Strait Runs for More Than Mike Cannon

For obvious reasons, Mike Cannon has enjoyed the run that Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute) is on. It's not just that he's become a Grade I winner this year, has earned $933,823 in his career or that he is the morning line favorite in Saturday's GII Eddie Read S. at Del Mar. That matters to Cannon, but maybe not as much as the fact that the horse's success has allowed him to pump a large sum of money into a charity he supports, The Special Operations Care Fund (SOC-F). While...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021: Established Stallions

So here we are at last, rounding the home turn. This series has unfolded in familiar fashion, with an initial stampede of unproven young stallions progressively thinned out by the impatience of a commercial sector operating in ever decreasing cycles. Today we finish with a selection from those admirable stallions who have survived the ruthless attrition, and created a viable niche at various levels of the market. The odds they have overcome, to get here, are such that the long-term health of the breed is clearly being treated as something...

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Taking Stock: Performance vs. Stud Fee for the Small Owner-Breeder

By the time a stallion has established himself at stud, his fee is usually determined by performance, not the hype that surrounds new horses when they first enter stud. There are, of course, many ways to measure performance, including progeny earnings (which determines placement on the General Sires list), percent of black-type winners to named foals, quality of runners, number of Grade l winners, etc. There are seven thoroughly proven stallions that will stand for $150,000 or more in North America in 2021, and these elite horses--Into Mischief ($225,000), Tapit...

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Midnight Bisou Arrives at Hill 'n' Dale, To Visit Curlin in 2021

Champion Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) arrived at Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa Thursday afternoon after completing her final phase of rehabilitation at WinStar Farm. The five-time Grade I winner will visit Hill 'n' Dale flagbearer Curlin. Midnight Bisou was preparing for her Breeders' Cup bid this fall when she incurred a sesamoid fracture during a work at the end of September that forced connections to retire the mare prematurely. The champion shone as one of brightest stars at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale Nov. 8. Co-owner Chuck Allen of Allen Racing...

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Midnight Bisou Hammers for $5M at FTKNOV As Co-Owner Allen Buys Out Other Partners

Superstar and champion Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute--Diva Delite, by Repent) was a predictably popular item at the Fasig-Tipton November 'Night of the Stars' Sunday, but in the end she'll go to a familiar face, as Chuck Allen, partner on the mare during her racing career, bought out the other partners and brought the hammer down at $5 million. The 5-year-old sold as hip 185, consigned by ELiTE Sales. A five-time graded stakes winner and dual Grade I winner as a sophomore, the $80,000 OBS April buy earned a runaway divisional...

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An Unexpected Storybook Ending for Midnight Bisou

What was it, many have asked, that drew Jeff Bloom to Midnight Bisou at the 2017 OBS April 2-Year-Old Sale? While it surely wasn't her unmet reserve from the Keeneland September Sale, where bidding stalled at $19,000, perhaps it was her three-time stakes-winning dam. Diva Delite (Repent) had yet to produce a winner, but as a racehorse she had claimed the GIII Florida Oaks and earned over $300,000. On the other hand, maybe something in the filly's :10 1/5 breeze at the sale had caught his eye. [tdn_vimeo_embed title="Midnight Bisou:...

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Stars Keeping Glitter in Midnight Sky

A "headline" horse will cover a multitude of sins for a stallion; very often, too many. If a single flag-bearer gets too far ahead, however, people tend to start asking what might have happened to the rest of the army. In the case of Midnight Lute, there's no doubt that Midnight Bisou has helped to keep him in the game. On the other hand, her $7.25 million in earnings might seem to rebuke her sire for his failure, thus far, to come up with a second millionaire. His two previous...

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Midnight Lute's Keeper Ofthe Stars Gamest in the Gamely

Keeper Ofthe Stars, a shocking 36-1 winner of the GII Buena Vista S. last out, proved that effort was no fluke and overcame a wide draw to score convincingly in Monday's GI Gamely S. at Santa Anita. Fourth in both the GII San Clemente S. and GI Del Mar Oaks last summer, the gray annexed the local GIII Autumn Miss S. two starts later and sandwiched a runner-up try in the local Lady Shamrock S. between sixth-place runs in the GIII Red Carpet H. and GIII Megahertz S. Off as...

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Americans Look Tough in the Saudi Cup

A stellar group of international talent has been assembled for the inaugural $20-million Saudi Cup over 1800 meters at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh Saturday, with a quintet of impressive American contenders. Leading the American charge is Gary and Mary West's Maximum Security (New Year's Day). After infamously being disqualified from first in the GI Kentucky Derby last May, the bay colt redeemed his sophomore season with wins in the GI Haskell Invitational and GIII Bold Ruler H. before cementing an Eclipse championship with a win in the Dec. 7...

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Kentucky Sires 2020 VII: Established Sires

Right, that's enough ranting for now. In the course of this series, I've repeatedly professed bewilderment and alarm over the damage to the Thoroughbred gene pool threatened by a witless stampede towards unproven newcomers, and the no less puerile impatience with which they are promptly abandoned. But we won't revisit those complaints today. Embarking on this final instalment, dealing with those stallions talented or lucky enough to have come out the other side with a viable stud career in Kentucky, we'll just offer one simple consolation. Because if you're one...

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