ARCADIA, Calif. (March 3, 2108)–Star-crossed no more, trainer Bill Spawr’s Midnight Bisou was a resounding 2 ¼ length winner of Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita, as she stretched out to two turns in style under Mike Smith, covering a mile and one sixteenth on a wet fast track in 1:41.10.
With recent maiden winner Spring Lily and Thirteen Squared ensuring a solid early pace, Smith was content to sit a close third around the Club House turn and down the backside. A diminishing two lengths off the lead heading into the far turn, Midnight Bisou rallied three-wide turning for home and with Spring Lily dropping back at the rail, she put Thirteen Squared away approaching the sixteenth pole and won with her ears pricked.
“This was a test of two turns and she passed it with an ‘A-plus,'” said Smith, who was aboard the 3-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute for the second time in a row. “…She settled really nicely and she did everything better than I expected going into a two turn race. She’s getting better even faster than I thought she would.”
Second, beaten a pair of noses in sprints by undefeated Dream Tree in her first two starts, she came off a 4 ½ length victory going seven furlongs in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes here on Jan. 7 and has thus won two consecutive graded events.
“I wasn’t concerned about the distance,” said Spawr. “No matter where you put her, she’s going to try. She’s push button. We’re looking at the Santa Anita Oaks next (Grade I, 1 1/16 miles on April 7)…When you press on her and ask her, she just kicks it in.”
With Bob Baffert’s Dream Tree scratching out of the race earlier this morning, Midnight Bisou was off at 1-5 in a field of five sophomore fillies and paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10.
Owned by Allen Racing, LLC and Jeff Bloom’s Bloom Racing, LLC, Midnight Bisou is now 4-2-2-0 and with the winner’s share of $60,000, she has earnings of $210,000.
In a gutty effort, Baffert’s Thirteen Squared was second best, finishing eight lengths in front of Spring Lily. Off at 8-1 with Tyler Baze up, Thirteen Squared paid $4.20 and $2.40.
Ridden by Evin Roman, Spring Lily was the second choice at 7-2 and paid $2.20 to show while finishing 4 ½ lengths in front of Sweetsongofthenile.
Fractions on the race were 23.26, 47.01, 1:11.10 and 1:34.90.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit www.santaanita.com.