MIDNIGHT HOPES TO STRIKE IN KENTUCKY OAKS
Everybody knows about the Kentucky Derby and the magic that surrounds that first Saturday in May. The day before the world’s most famous horse race is extra-special as well as it is reserved for the three-year old females as they run in the Kentucky Oaks. And there is one group of folks in particular that hope to see Midnight strike on that fabulous Friday.
Midnight Bisou is a Kentucky bred filly that comes to Churchill Downs as one of the hottest three-year olds in the country. Campaigned on the West coast by Bloom Racing, this daughter of Midnight Lute has displayed an amazing turn of foot in winning three graded stakes races in a row (Santa Ynez, Santa Ysabel, Santa Anita Oaks). Now five races into her career, there were people that knew the Bill Spawr trained filly was something special before she made her first sashay to the winner’s circle.
“We have always thought she could be something special,” says Jeff Bloom, mastermind of Bloom Racing. “After a second place finish in her first race we ran her back as a maiden in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar which surprised some. In that race she did everything but win and that really told us we had a filly that was very talented.”
In the Desi Arnaz, Midnight Bisou came from off the pace to miss by the narrowest of noses at the wire. Bumped out of the gates, things didn’t start well at all for her. Gobbling up ground in amazing fashion inside the race’s final furlong, her jaw-dropping move at the end was amazing to say the least.
“It’s crazy how she can accelerate on the dirt like she does,” says Mike Smith, her hall of fame rider during her win streak. “She does it like grass horses do only she is not on the grass. She is an incredible filly for sure.”
Bloom and his people may have learned a lot about their filly that day at Seaside Oval, but as time has progressed, so has Midnight Bisou. Displaying versatility and winning impressively, this granddaughter of 1998 Kentucky Derby winner Real Quiet has continued to develop in the days since that runner up finish at Del Mar.
“One of the really nice things about her is her ability to continue to improve,” says Bloom, who was once the exercise rider for 1989 Derby winner Sunday Silence. “It has been text book in how she has continued to show how increased distance benefits her. She has checked off all the boxes in showing us she is the real deal.”
One of the people Bloom has counted on heavily in the nurturing of his prized filly is his trainer. Having trained horses since the late 1970’s, a few trips around the track has taught Bill Spawr a thing or two about how to handle a good race horse.
“Bill has been excellent to work with because first and foremost he is the consummate professional,” says Bloom. “He has been around a long time and there are some good reasons why. He has done a brilliant job of handling her and getting her to where she is currently at.”
And where Midnight is currently at is atop the leader board for Kentucky Oaks qualifiers. Positioned at number 1 with 160 points, Bloom’s four-legged phenom has proven her worth against the best the West has to offer in her division. These are exciting times for a man with over three decades invested in the sport in one facet or another.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and the opportunity we have in the Kentucky Oaks,” says the San Diego native. “I mean this is the pinnacle of our sport, the place everyone wants to be. It really is neat to see our filly in the number one spot on the Oaks leader board. What makes it even better is her warm personality. She might be a tiger on the track but in the barn she is like a pet. “
Now Bloom and his buds just hope to see Midnight strike on May 4.