Midnight Interlude faces six in La Jolla
|Midnight Interlude made his turf debut a winning one last out
Only six sophomores have opted to line up against Grade 1 winner
MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE (War Chant) as the Bob Baffert pupil attempts to move
his turf record to a perfect two-for-two in Saturday's $150,000
La Jolla H. (G2) at Del Mar. The bay colt passed his initial turf
test with flying colors on June 17 at Hollywood Park, posting a game
neck victory in the Tsunami Slew S. going one mile, and will stretch out
an extra sixteenth for Saturday's race.
Midnight Interlude put himself squarely into Triple Crown contention
earlier this year when upsetting the Santa Anita Derby (G1) by a head
off a 8 1/2-length maiden win. Alas, the colt did not carry that form
east, as he finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and 13th in the
Preakness S. (G1) in his next two starts. Baffert gave his charge a
month break, shipped him back to the West Coast and switched surfaces.
Midnight Interlude responded with his Tsunami Slew score and will keep
Rafael Bejarano, aboard for that grass affair, in the saddle.
SURREY STAR (Ire) (Dubawi) and TEMPLE'S DOOR (Leroidesanimaux [Brz]),
the respective runner-up and third-place runner in the Tsunami Slew,
will re-oppose Midnight Interlude in the La Jolla on Saturday. The
former is no stranger to winning black-type on the grass, taking the La
Puente S. in mid-April and also placing third in the Generous S. (G3) at
Hollywood Park last fall. Temple's Door will be looking to rebound off a
subpar ninth and last in the Oceanside S. on Del Mar's opening day.
BURNS (Unusual Heat), second in the Oceanside in his first turf stakes try,
and Group 3-placed FORT HASTINGS (Aragorn [Ire]), seventh in the mile event in
his U.S. debut, are also exiting that July 20 race. The La Jolla field is
completed by Oliver S. winner LIL BIT O'FUN (Langfuhr) and THIRTYFIRSTSTREET
(Good Journey), hero of the Lone Star Derby two back.
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