Blue Prize wins the Breeders' Cup Distaff in a sweet sendoff

November 02, 2019 07:12pm

Earlier Saturday, owner Jeff Bloom announced that even-money Breeders’ Cup Distaff favorite Midnight Bisou would forego next week’s Fasig-Tipton sale in favor of returning to training in 2020.

So she'll get another chance after a
 mare more than likely making the $2 million Distaff her final race, Blue Prize, stepped up to upset at Santa Anita Park.

The last out winner of Keeneland’s Spinster Stakes (G1) gave both jockey Joe Bravo and trainer Ignacio Correas their first victory in the championships in her sendoff before going to auction as a broodmare prospect.

"I'm just stunned by this filly who gets better every race," Correas said. "...If you know someone who wants to buy her, she's a hell of a mare."

The 8-1 shot rallied from off the pace and made the winning move when taking first run through the turn. That left Midnight Bisou with even more ground to make up after she was already shuffled back at the start, forced into a ground-saving, yet potentially difficult trip on the rail.

"She got out of the gate a little slower than I would have liked to," Bravo said of Blue Prize. "...Down the backside she got underneath me. I kind of looked at Mike Smith and Midnight Bisou, and it just looked like she wasn't doing what he wanted her to do.

"I was like, man. That got my excitement level going."

Midnight Bisou moved four-wide into the stretch but couldn't catch her competition, with the final time 
1:50.50 for 1 1/8 miles.

Nothing Midnight Bisou does for us is disappointing," said her trainer, Steve Asmussen. "She had a tremendous amount to overcome with all the dirt she took early. A quality filly best her and got first run on her around the turn."

The Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress, who set the pace as expected, held on for third.

"I was thinking, 'What kind of speech am I going to have if I win the Breeders' Cup?'" Bravo said. "...You saw those interviews earlier. They got all emotional and choked up. I see why."

Blue Prize, who broke from the outside post in a field of 11, improved to 10-8-3 in 23 starts.

Now comes the question of what's next. And there may be a question, owner John Moores indicated upon receiving his Breeders' Cup trophy, with Blue Prize entered in that same Fasig-Tipton sale set for Tuesday in Kentucky.

"You have to maybe rethink this," Moores said. "I don't know. I'm not going to make that call."


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