Multiple graded stakes winner Midnight Bisou put in the final touches Monday morning as the prospective favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 Alabama at the Spa, breezing four furlongs in 51.62 seconds for a final blowout in preparation for the race.
“She breezed an easy half-mile for the Alabama and the filly has consistently done extremely well and we're obviously very excited about her chances,” said Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.
Midnight Bisou, owned by Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing, is exiting a runner-up finish to Monomoy Girl in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 22. It was the second meeting of the fillies, following the Kentucky Oaks, won by Monomoy Girl. Wonder Gadot, currently pointing to the Grade 1 Travers, was a half-length back, while Midnight Bisou was third, beaten 4 ¼ lengths.
Following the Kentucky Oaks, the Midnight Lute filly was transferred to Asmussen for an East Coast campaign. She returned to action in impressive fashion with a six-length win in the Grade 2 Mother Goose on June 30 at Belmont.
Also expected to enter for Asmussen in the Alabama is Whispering Oaks Farm's She's a Julie. She breezed four furlongs in 49.67 Sunday morning on the Oklahoma training track.
Following a seventh-place finish last year in the Debutante to end her juvenile campaign, the Elusive Quality filly made her 2018 debut at Fair Grounds, where she ran sixth in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra and fifth in the Fair Grounds Oaks. Finishing second in her first start at Churchill Downs in an allowance optional claiming race in May, she won an allowance optional claiming race on June 3 at Churchill before impressively winning the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks last out on July 4 by 5 ½ lengths.
“She's coming off a huge win and she's trained really well up here,” said Asmussen. “Obviously, it's a big step up for her and caliber of competition, but she's done all the work.”
Asmussen also reported Tight Ten, who ran second in Sunday's Grade 2 Saratoga Special, was in good order following the race, but most likely will not target a start in the Grade 1, $350,000 Hopeful on September 3.
“He ran a nice race against a good horse and came out second best. The Hopeful would be very doubtful for him. I don't think I'll run him back in three weeks.”
Lyrical Lady, who finished a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Adirondack, also exited her race in good order as Asmussen would look to evaluate plans for the filly.
“Obviously, it was a disappointing run there,” he said. “I thought the track was extremely deep from the times there were shown Saturday, so we'll just try to regroup.”
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