ARCADIA, CA – Allen Racing LLC and Bloom Racing Stable LLC’s Midnight Bisou broke her maiden in fine fashion Sunday, taking the Grade 2, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita.
Off sharply from the gate underneath Mike Smith, Midnight Bisou stalked just off the pace set by War Heroine through early fractions of :22.38 and :45.26. Hitting the stretch four-wide, Midnight Bisou made a bid towards new leader Steph Being Steph and took command past the 1/8-pole. The Bill Spawr-trained 3-year-old filly drove clear to win by 4 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:23.40 for the 7-furlong main track event.
“Bill told me one simple thing,” Smith said. “He told me to not be surprised if she was a whole lot closer than I would have thought today. ‘She’s pretty sharp and it’s ok if she is’ – I’m really glad he told me that because I was up there pretty close and thought I was too close. I still hit the front a little soon, but she’s a really good filly and she wants every bit of 7/8 of a mile.”
Steph Being Steph just held on gamely to defeat the favored Win the War by a nose. The rest of the field was strung out behind them, with Yesterday’s News taking fourth over Allianna, while War Heroine, Just a Smidge, and Streetwithnoname completed the order of finish. Artistic Diva was scratched.
The Santa Ynez is part of the Road to the 2018 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Midnight Bisou earned 10 points for the win, with Steph Being Steph receiving 4 for second, Win the War 2 for third, and Yesterday’s News 1 for fourth.
Midnight Bisou was twice the runner-up by a nose to Dream Tree in 2017, including the $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar on November 18. With the victory, the daughter of Midnight Lute improved her record to 3-1-2-0 with earnings of $150,000 and will likely stretch out to two turns for her next start.
“Big win, no question,” Spawr said. “I was a little worried with (Artistic Diva) scratching that there wouldn’t be enough speed. Mike’s never ridden her and he said she surprised him a little around the turn. He said she kinda dropped the bridle, so he gathered her up to get her running and she took off. She wants to route, no question. Being around her, the way she acts, her temperament, she’ll relish a route.”
Midnight Bisou returned $5.60 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.60 to show. Steph Being Steph brought back $14.60 to place and $5 to show, while Win the War paid $2.40 to show.