ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 30, 2017)–With Kent Desormeaux dealing perhaps from the bottom of the deck turning for home, Silent Bird fought off all challengers to take Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Midnight Lute Stakes at Santa Anita by a neck as a well-meant Calculator and Javier Castellano had to settle for fourth money. Trained by Mark Glatt, Silent Bird got 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.03.
Breaking from the rail in a field of seven 3-year-olds and up, Silent Bird was quick to engage favored Americanize and those two ran as a team around the far turn. At the top of the lane, Desormeaux appeared to let his mount drift outward along with Americanize, which left the rail open for Calculator–but not for long.
As he straightened for home, Desormeaux, who was clear of Calculator, took Silent Bird back to the fence and Calculator, although he wasn’t forced to steady, lost his momentum. From there, Silent Bird dug in and held a determined Tough Sunday at bay to get the win.
Idle since Aug. 26 at Del Mar, Silent Bird was off at 3-1 and paid $8.20, $4.60 and $2.80.
Owned by Norman Stables, LLC, The Midnight Lute represented Silent Bird’s first graded stakes win and improved his overall record to 9-6-1-1. With the winner’s check of $60,000, the 5-year-old full horse by Summer Bird increased his earnings to $316,800.
California-bred Tough Sunday rallied four-wide at the top of the lane and finished second by a nose over Americanize. Ridden by Tyler Baze, Tough Sunday was off at 12-1 and paid $10.20 and $4.40.
The even money favorite with Rafael Bejarano, Americanize finished 1 ½ lengths in front of Calculator and paid $2.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.18, 44.75 and 1:09.39.