Midnight Bisou ends 'mini-break,' working toward the Saudi Cup

December 19, 2019 03:00pm

Midnight Bisou on Thursday morning put an official end to what her co-owner, Jeff Bloom, called a “mini-break” when the champion in waiting breezed an easy half mile in 53.60 seconds at Fair Grounds.

There, she’s training toward a start against males in the inaugural $20 million Saudi Cup scheduled for Feb. 29.

“She’s just been training beautifully up until now,” said Bloom, who the morning of the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Distaff announced Midnight Bisou was out of the Fasig-Tipton sale in favor of a 5-year-old campaign in 2020, much to the delight of racing fans.

While the daughter of Midnight Lute ran second to Blue Prize on the big day, she entered undefeated on the year before then, going 7-for-7, all in graded stakes. The campaign sets up Midnight Bisou to receive the Eclipse Award for Champion Dirt Female next month.

“This being her first official recorded work since the Breeders’ Cup, it’s super exciting to have her back in full training mode,” Bloom said.

Midnight Bisou’s one of many popular fillies or mares to forego a breeding career to race in 2020, joining Europe’s Enable, plus domestic Grade 1 winners such as Got Stormy, Mia Mischief and Bellafina.

“For us personally, and I can speak on behalf of my group, it simply came down to wanting to continue to run,” said Bloom, whose Bloom Racing Stable campaigns Midnight Bisou with Madaket Stables and Allen Racing. “As long as she wants to and is happy doing it, there’s really no reason not to — and she’s still young.”

Bloom confirmed that plans still call for Midnight Bisou to train straight into the Saudi Cup. Decisions on when she’ll ship, and how much training will be done locally at Riyadh’s King Abdulaziz Racetrack, are pending, but Bloom noted that this isn’t trainer Steve Asmussen’s “first rodeo traveling all over the world.”

The Hall of Famer Asmussen counts among his career accomplishments winning the 2008 Dubai World Cup with Curlin.

“That part’s really nice,” Bloom added. “As far as the logistics and mechanics, I’m sort of sitting back and enjoying the ride. I’ll let those guys handle it.”

Bloom was quick to name the Saudi Cup as a target following the Breeders’ Cup, in which Midnight Bisou finished 1 1/2 lengths back of Blue Prize under jockey Mike Smith.

“We love it,” he said. “It’s a $20 million race, and horses are going to come from all over the world. They don’t give $20 million away easily, but we feel as though we’re arguably one of the best horses out there whether it’s against the boys or the girls.

“The distance — it’s a one-turn mile and an eighth — should suit her perfectly. She’s shown that she’s got an incredible versatility about her in terms of the complexion of the race, the type of track it is and the distance of the race.”

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2020 Saudi Cup

 

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