chorus of Midnight Lute's progeny are drumming up wins across the
country. Last weekend, Midnight Lute's son Govenor
and daughter Midnight
scored victories in the Sunland Derby and Oaks. Both of them set new
track records; Govenor Charlie for 1 1/8 miles in 1”47.54 and
Midnight Lucky for 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.06. Fittingly, both Govenor
Charlie and Midnight Lucky are trained by the sire of Midnight Lute,
Baffert also trains their stablemate, San Vicente (G-2) hero Shakin
This weekend, multiple stakes placed Mylute
was a fast closing second, beaten only a neck in the Louisiana Derby.
date, Midnight Lute has sired three stakes winners and 19 winners
from 64 starters lifetime. He stands at the top of the Second Crop
Sire list in terms of earnings and is tied for first with number of
stakes winners. As he did on the racetrack, Midnight Lute is
out-performing a solid group of stallions at stud, which include
two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown,
International sensation Henrythenavigator and the Two Year Old
Champion War Pass.
brought $70K at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2004. He
later was a $290K RNA at the 2005 OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in
training. After a private purchase by Michael
and Watson and Weitman Performances, the almost black colt was sent
to Bob Baffert. Pegram and Baffert
had teamed up to campaign Midnight Lute's sire Real Quiet to a
heartbreaking Triple Crown miss in 1998.
pegged Midnight Lute as a special horse from the start, but this is a
story of “what might have been.” Standing 17 hands high, the
muscular colt made his debut in late July of his two year old season.
In what would become his typical running style, Midnight Lute was
away from the gate slow, made a wide move on the outside and mowed
down his competition in a powerful late run, getting up to win the
six furlong race by 1 ¼ lengths. Midnight Lute was away from the
races for a year, due to a throat issue, necessitating in surgery.
This hampered the colt's ability to perform at longer distances.
medical problems, there was no stopping Midnight Lute's extraordinary
talent. As a three year old, he set a new track record at Keeneland
for seven furlongs in 1:24.38 over the Polytrack in the Perryville
Stakes (G-3). At four, Midnight Lute splashed his way to a 4 ¾
length win in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G-1), setting a record for
the largest winning margin and earning an Eclipse Award as Champion
2008, Midnight Lute came back to race twice as a five year old. He
recorded the worst finish of his career in the Pat O'Brian Stakes
(G-2) over the Del Mar Polytrack. However, in his swan song the Champ
went out on a high note, winning his second consecutive Breeders' Cup
Sprint in 1:07, the fastest time in the history of the race.
record: 13-6-3-1 ($2,690,600)
– Breeders' Cup Sprint (G-1) (2007 - '08) 6F
– Forego Stakes (G-1) 7F
- Perryville Stakes (G-3) 7F
– Cigar Mile (G-1)
- San Fernando Stakes (G-2) 1 1/16 miles
– Malibu Stakes (G-1) 7F
Lute retired to stud at Hill 'n' Dale Farms in Kentucky for a fee of
$20K Typical of a first year stallion, his fee was dropped to $15K
after his initial season and remains steady. There was great demand
for the good looking stallion and Midnight Lute sired 121 foals in
his first crop.
mentioned, Midnight Lute stands 17 hands high and is a long-bodied,
muscular horse. It appears that he received his large, rangy frame
from his second sire, Quiet American, who himself stands 16 ½ hands
Lute's sire REAL
QUIET(Quiet American -
Really Blue, by Believe It)
won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, only to fall a heart-wrenching
nose short in the Belmont Stakes. Real Quiet didn't prove to be
commercially successful at stud, but as is often the case with
broodmare sires, his quality may be evidenced years later in his
daughters' progeny. Midnight Lute is Real Quiet's best performing
progeny and his first prominent son to stand at stud. Three minor
sons of Real Quiet are standing as regional sires. Real Quiet's
sire Quiet American is not noted as a sire of sires, but his
daughters are recognized as superior producers.
a sire, Real Quiet did manage to get 16 stakes winners and a
Champion. Besides Midnight Lute, Real Quiet's most notable runners
are the sprinter/miler Pussycat Doll, two-time winner of the Humana
Distaff (G-1) and Wonder Lady Anne L, heroine of the 1 ¼ mile CCA
Lute's female family is filled with a mix of American speed and
Italian Stamina. His dam Candytuft (Dehere - Bolt From the
Blue, by Blue Times) was unraced. Besides Midnight Lute, Candytuft
bore his half brother multiple stakes-placed sprinter Captain
Cherokee (by Sir Cherokee) and a stakes placed half sister Tusculum
Rd (by Gilded Time). In all, she has seven foals who made it to the
track and six of them have won.
Lute's second dam Bolt From the Blue (Blue Times – Berkut,
by Sea-Bird) owned an 11-4-2-1 ($125,834) record, including a victory
in the 1 ½ mile La Prevoyante Stakes (G-3) and a third place finish
in the 1 ¼ mile E.P. Taylor (G-1). Two of her 11 foals are stakes
placed in England.
back another generation, Midnight
Lute's third dam Berkut (Sea-Bird – Feria, by Toulouse
Lautrec) bore two stakes winners and a stakes placed runner and his
fourth dam Feria (Toulouse Lautrec – Feira De Rio, by Way In) was a
Champion Three Year Old Filly in Italy.
successful runners have a balance of speed and stamina. Too much of
either attribute will result in either a speed ball who falters past
sprint distances or a long-winded plodder who only looks good while
passing exhausted horses.
Lute's damsire DEHERE
was a son of a Juvenile Champion and later Horse of the Year out of a
daughter by a Juvenile Champion and later Horse of the Year. In
seven starts at age two, Dehere was defeated only twice. The son of
Deputy Minister racked up victories in the Hopeful, Saratoga Special
Sanford. He was only the third horse in history to capture all
three Saratoga events for juveniles.
Belmont Park, Dehere was beaten ½ length in the Belmont Futurity by
future Horse of the Year Holy Bull, but returned to defeat a small
field of rivals by four lengths in the and Champagne Stakes. Made
the favorite for the 1993 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Dehere failed to
sustain his speed and faded to eighth in his first attempt at 1 1/16
miles. The following year, Dehere successfully stretched out to 1
1/16 miles and won the Fountain of Youth Stakes by ¾ length over
eventual Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin. Unfortunately, Dehere
fractured his right hind cannon bone during training and was retired.
spent his stud career in the US, Australia and Japan. His offspring
own a mixture of speed and stamina and his best runners include the
multiple Grade 1 winning mare Take Charge Lady (the dam of last
year's Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy and this year's Rebel
Stakes victor Will Take Charge) and Bollenger, an Australian multiple
Group 1 winner (and dam of 2009 Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire).
is following in the hoofprints of his sire Deputy Minister and
damsire Secretariat as an acclaimed broodmare sire. He's currently
the tenth leading Broodmare sire in terms of earnings and has
consistently ranked among the top fifty broodmare sires over the last
five years. Internationally, his daughters have bore 62 stakes
winners. His daughter's progeny win from sprint distances to 1 ½
miles over all surfaces.
Lute's second damsire Blue Times (by Olden Times) won two stakes
races at 1 1/8 miles. His male line traces directly back to Man O'War
through his greatest son War Relic. Blue Times' damsire was a lesser
son of the Claiborne foundation sire Princequello.
Lute's progeny are proving to be mid-season two year olds that
improve with age. Most carry their sire's looks and conformation.
His offspring have won over dirt, turf, Polytrack, Cushion Track and
Tapita from 5 ½ furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. We won't know how far
Midnight Lute's babies will run until they actually prove it,
however, given their two-turn conformation and the pedigree of their
sire, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see a son or daughter of
Midnight Lute wearing a wreath of roses, Stargazer lilies, Black-Eyed
Susans, carnations, or yellow and purple chrysanthemums very soon.