ARCADIA, CA – Allen Racing and Bloom Racing Stable’s Midnight Bisou scored her third straight stakes victory in gallant style, effortlessly winning Saturday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks.
Breaking well from post 3 under Mike Smith as the prohibitive 3-5 favorite, Midnight Bisou was content to sit off the pace in the rear while Thirteen Squared led through :23.47, :47.63, and 1:12.04. Midnight Bisou made a wide, sweeping bid through the far turn, eclipsing all seven foes in one fluid motion and emerging onto the stretch with a commanding lead. The Bill Spawr trainee kicked away clear to win by 3 1/2 easy lengths in a final time of 1:44.79 for the 1 1/16-mile main track event.
“She’s special, I’m telling you,” Smith said. “Although she was probably a little farther back than anyone expected, it was almost … I’m not going to compare it to riding Zenyatta, but I used to be way back there, and I wasn’t worried because I knew that she could catch them. She gives me that great turn of foot, and I want to give her something to run at, or she’ll put the air brakes on.”
Just like in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby two races earlier, jockey Javier Castellano found himself chasing Smith in vain down the stretch, this time aboard Spectator. Thirteen Squared faded to third, 7 lengths past Exuberance in fourth. Fool’s Paradise, First Dudette, We All Have Dreams, Finess Bere, and Spring Lily completed the order of finish.
The Santa Anita Oaks is part of the Road to the 2018 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Midnight Bisou earned 100 points for the win, with Spectator receiving 40 for second, Thirteen Squared 20 for third, and Exuberance 10 for fourth.
“I am shaking; I’m speechless,” said co-owner Jeff Bloom. “I just won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks. I think she is (the best filly in the country). I know this much, she’s a good one. Mike looked like he was very comfortable with her where he was, and when he started asking her, I could see that she started motoring, and I felt pretty good.”
Midnight Bisou returned $3.20 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Spectator brought back $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show, while Thirteen Squared paid $3 to show.