Notes & Quotes From the G2 Beldame Stakes: Midnight Bisou

(Midnight Bisou wins the Beldame Stakes / Photo by Janet Garaguso & Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team:

Midnight Bisou continued to build on a sensational 4-year-old campaign when drawing away from Wow Cat in the final furlong to win Saturday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Beldame by 3 1/4 lengths over the fast main track at Belmont Park.

The talented dark bay daughter of Midnight Lute, who improved to 7-for-7 this year, arrived at the 1 1/8-mile event for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward off a dramatic victory in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti, where she dueled at the top of the Saratoga stretch with Elate and getting a nose better of the dual Grade 1 winner last month.

Jockey John Velazquez — Midnight Bisou (1st):

“It was pretty easy for her,” Velazquez said. “I didn’t have to do very much, just keep her out of trouble, and she did what she had to do. I didn’t have to hit her or anything. I just showed her the whip, and let her know she had to run. That was it.”

Velazquez picked up the mount from Midnight Bisou’s regular rider, Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who is in California scheduled to ride McKinzie in the Grade 1, $300,000 Awesome Again at Santa Anita.

“She’s a much better horse this year. She wasn’t as consistent last year,” Velazquez said. “After talking to Mike [Smith], when I rode her in the Breeders’ Cup, he said, ‘She’s not too crazy about the track at Churchill Downs, anyway.’ She came back this year and hasn’t run bad yet.”

Assistant Trainer Scott Blasi — Midnight Bisou:

“You’re always a little worried drawing the one-hole in short fields, but I thought Johnny [Velazquez] rode her great and did a terrific job riding her to the wire,” Blasi said. “She proved to be the best. She’s just been an amazing horse this year. The way she’s developed this year, she’s turned a corner going from 3 to 4, and it’s exciting. She’s been training great since the Personal Ensign and hopefully we can just keep her happy going forward.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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