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Midnight Fever Upsets Spring Fever
Coady Photography

Midnight Fever Upsets Spring Fever

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Carl R. Moore Management’s Midnight Fever hit the front in the stretch and held off a strong challenge late to win Saturday’s $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

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Breaking from post 5 under Martin Garcia as the 8/1 fourth choice in the field of six, Midnight Fever initially seemed keen for the lead but eventually tucked back to track just behind the top trio. Ahead of her, Artistic DivaMt. Brave, and the 4/5 favorite Break Even dueled through opening fractions of :21.43 and :45.10.

Sent up to run four-wide by the top of the stretch, Midnight Fantasy straightened for home with daylight ahead and began to fill it. Taking command with 3/16 of a mile to go, Midnight Fantasy drifted inward slightly, opening room for Amy’s Challenge to make a late bid.

That foe’s pursuit proved too little too late, however, as Midnight Fantasy held sway to win by a neck. Trained by Joe Sharp, she completed the 5 1/2-furlong event over the fast main track in a final time of 1:03.61.

Midnight Fantasy (5) holds off Amy’s Challenge (4) by a neck at the wire (Credit: Coady Photography)

“She was doing really good,” Garcia said. “That was exactly where I wanted to be. I was able to stay on the outside and when I asked her to go, she just took off. It was really nice.”

Amy’s Challenge looked full of run in the far turn, but she was forced to wait until the 1/4-pole before finding any room and was ultimately forced to settle for second. What a Fox was 3 lengths back in third, while behind her came Mt. Brave, Artistic Diva, and Break Even to complete the order of finish.

Midnight Fantasy’s win was her first official victory since taking the Austintown Filly Sprint Stakes at Mahoning Valley Race Course last April. The Louisiana-bred 4-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute now carries a record of 12-5-3-0 with $327,810 earned.

“It was a tough race,” Moore said. “That race right there, she beat some good horses. She ran huge. Joe and I, we talked about (the Spring Fever) and we saw it up here. The distance – she likes 5 1/2 (furlongs). I think she’ll stretch out and go farther, too. We’re trying to decide. She’s doing so good short.”

Midnight Fantasy returned $19.40 to win, $6.60 to place, and $3.80 to show. Amy’s Challenge brought back $4.40 to place and $3.40 to show, while What a Fox paid $3.40 to show.

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