ARCADIA, CA – Thanks to inclement morning weather scaring away her only rival, Allen Racing and Bloom Racing Stable’s Midnight Bisou cruised home easily in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita.
Sent postward as the heavy 3/10 favorite after top foe Dream Tree scratched, Midnight Bisou stalked off the rail under Mike Smith to avoid getting hit with any debris from the dirt surface rated wet-fast. Spring Lily led through fractions of :23.26, :47.01, and 1:11.10 while holding a diminishing lead over Thirteen Squared through the far turn. Midnight Bisou commenced her bid three-wide off the turn and took command, then inched away under a vigorous hand-ride to win by 2 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:41.10 for the 1 1/16-mile event.
“This was a test of two turns, and she passed it with an ‘A-plus,'” said Smith, whose victory was his third straight in this race. “I’m getting to know her more and more. I was a bit concerned warming up today. I thought she might be a little too keen early on, but then she settled really nicely, and she did everything better than I expected going into a two-turn race. She’s getting better even faster than I thought she would.”
Thirteen Squared was much the best of the rest, finishing 8 lengths past Spring Lily. Sweetsongofthenile took fourth, while One Fast Broad was never a factor and finished fifth.
The Santa Ysabel is part of the Road to the 2018 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Midnight Bisou earned 50 points for the win, with Thirteen Squared receiving 20 for second, Spring Lily 10 for third, and Sweetsongofthenile 5 for fourth.
Midnight Bisou’s win was her second in as many graded stakes attempts and improved her record to 4-2-2-0 with earnings of $210,000. The Bill Spawr-trained 3-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute, who finished within an inch of Dream Tree in both career losses, will now train towards April 7’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks for her final Kentucky Oaks prep.
“I wasn’t concerned about the distance,” Spawr said. “No matter where you put her, she’s going to try. She’s like push-button. When you press on her and you ask her, she just kicks it. She’s that good.”
Midnight Bisou returned $2.60 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Thirteen Squared brought back $4.20 to place and $2.40 to show, while Spring Lily paid $2.20 to show.