Midnight Bisou left no doubt Saturday she’s the undisputed early favorite for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita, dominating a showdown between her and Come Dancing in the $651,000 Ogden Phipps (G1) at Belmont Park
Third in last year’s Distaff, Midnight Bisou earned an automatic entry into this year’s event as the Phipps was a “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge race.
Under Mike Smith, Midnight Bisou bided her time inside and behind the pacesetting Come Dancing until upper stretch, when she shifted outside and rolled on by the favorite with more than a furlong remaining. Her 3 1/2-length triumph was achieved in a stakes-record 1:39.69 for 1 1/16 miles over a fast track.
“She broke good, in the bridle, and she stayed parked inside waiting for a chance to run,” Smith added. “I thought the filly in front would be good enough to put some space between us, so I could get out when I wanted to, and that’s what happened.”
Owned by Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, and Allen Racing, the Steve Asmussen trainee returned $5.40.
Come Dancing, the 4-5 favorite, who recovered from a stumble leaving the gate and set a pace of :23.39, :45.96, and 1:09.23, held second by three parts of a length over Mopotism, the longest shot in the field of five. Escape Clause and Pacific Wind completed the order of finish.
Midnight Bisou is now perfect in four starts this season, having previously captured the Houston Ladies Classic (G3), Azeri (G2), and Apple Blossom H. (G1). At three, she won the Santa Ysabel (G3), Santa Ynez (G2), Mother Goose (G1), and Cotillion (G1), the latter via disqualification. Besides the Distaff, she also placed in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and Alabama (G1). Her record now stands at 15-9-3-3, $2,780,000.
Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Midnight Bisou was an $80,000 OBS two-year-old purchase. She’s by sprint champion Midnight Lute and out of Florida Oaks (G3) winner Diva Delite, by Repent.