By Richard Rosenblatt
A perfect season and Horse of the Year honors are on the line for Midnight Bisou in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
And no doubt, this star 4-year-old filly is the one to beat in the 1 1/8-mile Distaff for older fillies and mares.
“She’s just starting to blossom and she’s only four,’’ said Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who will be aboard Midnight Bisou once again.
Twelve horses were pre-entered in the Distaff, but Elate is set to run in the Classic after being cross-entered Wednesday. The post-position draw is Monday.
All Midnight Bisou has done this year is win all seven of her races, including three Grade 1’s at three different tracks – the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn, the Ogden Phipps at Belmont and the Personal Ensign at Saratoga.
In her most recent start, the daughter of Midnight Lute won the Beldame Invitational (G2) by 3 ¼ lengths with John Velazquez subbing for Smith, who has ridden the filly in 14 of her 18 races. Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen has trained some of racing’s top horses over the years, including Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, and he’s been saying all along that this filly is something special.
Owned by Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing, Midnight Bisou has posted three workouts at Santa Anita so far, the most recent a five-furlong breeze in 1:00.40 on Oct. 21 – third fastest of 38 going the same distance.
Currently, Midnight Bisou is ranked No. 2 in the NTRA’s Top 10 poll, with Bricks and Mortar (5-0) at No. 1 going into the BC Turf.
Midnight Bisou has won 12 of 18 career starts, with three seconds and three thirds for earnings of $3.4 million.
BC2019: $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff Pre-entries
(horse, trainer, jockey)
Midnight Bisou (Steve Asmussen, Mike Smith)
Street Band (J. Larry Jones, Sophie Doyle)
Blue Prize (Ignacio Correas IV, TBD)
Paradise Woods (John Shirreffs, Abel Cedillo)
Ollie’s Candy (John Sadler, TBD)
Elate (Bill Mott, Jose Ortiz)
Serengeti Express (Tom Amoss, TBD)
Secret Spice (Richard Baltas, TBD)
Dunbar Road (Chad Brown, TBD)
La Force (Paddy Gallagher, TBD)
Wow Cat (Chad Brown, TBD)
Mo See Cal (Peter Miller, TBD)
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.