Horses like Midnight Bisou come along once in a lifetime and owner Jeff Bloom said he is relishing every moment of it.
The talented daughter of Midnight Lute has won all six of her starts this year, three of which are Grade 1. She worked a half-mile in 49.81 seconds over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga on Sunday in preparation for the Grade 2, $300,000 Beldame on October 5 at Belmont Park.
“She just breezed perfectly this morning and so we're headed to Belmont,” said Bloom, who owns Midnight Bisou in partnership with Sol Kumin's Madaket Stable and Allen Racing.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bisou has put together a sensational 4-year-old campaign, which has included wins in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park, Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park and Personal Ensign at Saratoga, all of which are Grade 1.
Never off the board in 17 career starts, Midnight Bisou was a two-time Grade 1 winner at age 3, taking the Santa Anita Oaks and Cotillion, the former won while under the care of former trainer Bill Spawr.
“I think, more than anything else, she has continued to both physically and mentally mature as she has gotten older. There's really no magic to it,” Bloom said. “We're pretty proud of her 3-year-old campaign, but certainly she's much better this year. Oddly enough, she seems to get better with each race, including the Personal Ensign where she battled with Elate. One would think that would take something out of her, but she was jumping out her skin after the race. She's just really continued to grow.”
One of the remarkable characteristics of Midnight Bisou, Bloom says, is her mellow temperament in the barn area and her ability to switch gears when it's time to get down to business.
“She's just an incredible horse to be around,” Bloom said. “She's got that presence that shows she's a competitor, but she loves people. As long as you have a peppermint or a carrot in your hand, she'll be your best friend. Once she gets that saddle put on her and she steps foot on the track, she's focused on her job. With fillies, a lot of the time, the ones that are good can be tough to be around.”
Following the Beldame, Midnight Bisou will likely target the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita. She finished third in last year's edition behind subsequent Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Monomoy Girl. She will then go through the sales ring at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale following the Breeders' Cup.
“She's reached a level that very few have achieved,” Bloom said. “You always strive to compete at the top level but Midnight Bisou has gone above and beyond that. Her value is hard to imagine but right now, we're focusing on the rest of the year and trying to keep her undefeated.”
Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Midnight Bisou was purchased for $80,000 from the Ocala Breeders Sales Company's Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale in April 2017. She is out of the Repent broodmare Diva Delite.
Bloom said Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational victor Henley's Joy is slated for more graded stakes action at Big Sandy, targeting a possible start in the Grade 2, $400,000 Hill Prince on October 5.
Henley's Joy contested all three legs of the inaugural Turf Trinity, recording fifth-place finishes in the Saratoga Derby and Jockey Club Derby.
“We're considering the Hill Prince and we definitely want to take advantage of the remaining 3-year-old turf stakes the rest of the year,” Bloom said. “He seems to appreciate firm going and the track was wet last time and had a little more give than he likes.”
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