Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s Midnight Lucky, making her first
start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate and scored a
½-length victory over Street Girl in the 28th
running of the $330,600 Humana Distaff (Grade I) for fillies and
mares, the first of three Grade 1 stakes on Kentucky Derby Day.
Trained by Bob
Baffert and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Midnight Lucky ran the seven
furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.23. It was the second victory in
the race for Baffert who trained Pussycat Doll to
win the 2006 renewal for Pegram.
quickly established a daylight advantage over millionaire Judy the
Beauty and led the field through fractions of :22.74 and :45.04. At the
head of the stretch, Midnight Lucky shook off a challenge
from Judy the Beauty and drew away.
The victory was
worth $202,922 and improved Midnight Lucky’s earnings to $565,022 with a
record of 5-4-0-0. Her lone loss came in last year’s Kentucky Oaks (GI)
when she finished fifth.
Midnight Lucky is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Midnight Lute out of the Citidancer mare Citiview.
Midnight Lucky returned $5.20, $4 and $3. Street Girl, ridden by Julien leparoux,
returned $13.80 and $5.40 and finished a half-length in front of Scherzinger, who paid $3.80 to show under Mike Smith.
Judy the Beauty finished another length back in fourth and was followed by Speedinthruthecity and Iotapa.
HUMANA DISTAFF QUOTES
Rosie Napravnik, rider of Midnight Lucky (winner) – “She broke out wonderfully. Coming from the outside, I was able to
take my time getting into position. I was always comfortable. Coming off
layoff, she’s just as good as she was.”
Bob Baffert, trainer of Midnight Lucky (winner)
– “She’s a great filly; a great filly. I wasn’t concerned about putting
her in a race like this off the layoff (her last race was more than 11
ago). She’s that kind. I know she can run on, but I’m going to keep her
under a mile. That’s where she’s really good. I don’t know what I’ll do
with her next, but the aim is to have her ready for the seven-eighths
($1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint
at Santa Anita). Going a mile or less, this filly is as good as any I
have ever had.”
Julien Leparoux, rider of Street Girl (second)
– “We got second best. The winner is a good filly. My filly, she was
doing very good in the morning and I was expecting her to show up, and
She ran a big race and we are pleased with it.”
Mike Smith, rider of Scherzinger (third) – “In the beginning we got knocked around a bit pretty good, but other than that, she ran really well.”
John Velazquez, rider of favored Judy the Beauty (fourth)
– “She just didn’t come up with anything today. We had a great post
position and … (she was) empty. The trainer (Wesley Ward) said last week
“I hate to run three weeks, but I guess I’d better run her.’ She worked
Wesley Ward, owner-trainer of favored Judy the Beauty (fourth)
– “I went against my better judgment in running her back in three
weeks. I should have stayed with the original plan (which was the
Ballerina in August at Saratoga).”