Midnight Disguise earns Kentucky Oaks 2018 points in easy Busanda win

January 25, 2018 09:00am
Midnight Disguise wins 2018 Busanda
Photo: Alysse Jacobs/NYRA
There was no hiding Midnight Disguise on Thursday at Aqueduct Racetrack as the 3-year-old filly by Midnight Lute came back from an 11-day rest to power home a 4 ¼-length winner in the 45th running of the $100,000 Busanda, New York's first points-bearing prep in 2018 for the Kentucky Oaks.

The Linda Rice trainee settled in a distant fifth in the field of six early, well back from the pacesetting Oldfashioned Style, who was tracked closely by Take Charge Tina and even-money favorite Hail. Under the guidance of jockey Trevor McCarthy, Midnight Disguise launched her bid as the field reached the far turn. She steadily made up ground around the turn while Take Charge Tina dropped out of contention and Hail struggled to keep up with Oldfashioned Style, trying to shake clear of her rivals. 

Midnight Disguise kicked on through the stretch, running down Oldfashioned Style to complete the 1 1/8-mile route in a hand-timed 1:55.81 and earn 10 points toward a berth in the Kentucky Oaks on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

At 5-2, Midnight Disguise returned $7.30 for a $2 win wager.

"Our plan was to break and sit back," said McCarthy. "She is a big filly. She has a very big stride, so I didn't want to get into too much trouble, kind of let her sit outside and let her make her move [and] let her tell me when she wanted to get going.

"It seemed like at the three eighths pole I had so much horse, she wanted to hang there a little bit. She is still a little immature, but definitely a nice filly. [She] has a bright future in front of her," he continued.

Runner-up Oldfashioned Style picked up four points to the Oaks in her fourth straight stakes start. Hail, another 3 ¾ lengths back in third, earned two, while supplemental entrant Wealth Effect earned one in their respective stakes debuts. Incleveland and Take Charge Tina completed the order of finish.

The Busanda was the first try around two turns for Midnight Disguise, and her second straight stakes attempt, following a runner-up finish to English Soul in the East View on January 14. Bred in New York by her owners, William B. Wilmot and Joan M. Taylor, the winner has made all four of her career starts at the Big A, including victories in a maiden claiming race and starter allowance contest in a six-day span in December.

"She's just continued to improve and gain fitness and seasoning," said Rice. "The last time, she ran a little bit green on the outside and in the stretch switching leads. But we were delighted today with how she ran the mile and an eighth and two turns. It really opens up a lot of doors. We looked at the Ruthless [for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on January 28] and looked at this race and we felt there was a lot more to gain in this race.

"The distance, whether it's two turns or one turn, will be key," she added. "We're just trying to find what makes the most sense and gives her the most opportunity and let her learn and improve and not try and set the bar too high for her."

(Note: Fractions were unavailable and the final time was hand-timed due to a timer malfunction.)

Source: NYRA Communications
(Heather Pettinger)


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