Quotes From Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita Saturday

(Midnight Bisou wins the Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)

From the Media Team at Santa Anita:

MIKE SMITH, MIDNIGHT BISOU, WINNER: “This was a test of two turns and she passed it with an ‘A plus.’ I’m getting to know her more and more. I was a bit concerned warming up today. I thought she might be a little too keen early on but then she settled really nicely and she did everything better than I expected going into a two turn race. She’s getting better even faster than I thought she would.

“I didn’t really know what to expect today. I watched her first two races and she was so far back and then I rode her and I was much closer but I didn’t know what that race was going to look like. Of course, she ran honest, she ran very well that day. And then today, she was a bit aggressive warming up.

“I hoped she wasn’t going to be too aggressive and get hooked up early on into a head and head speed duel. She relaxed so well though going into that first turn and took everything so much better than expected. She won well within herself and I didn’t have to get after her at all. I just asked her with my hands at the top of the stretch to just inside the eighth pole but that was pretty much it.”

 

TRAINER QUOTES

 

BILL SPAWR, MIDNIGHT BISOU, WINNER: “I wasn’t concerned about the distance. No matter where you put her, she’s going to try. She’s push button. We’re looking at the Santa Anita Oaks next (Grade I, $400,000, 1 1/16 miles on April 7).

“I thought she had ’em (when asked his thoughts about her going two turns for the first time, especially in the last half-mile). When you press on her and you ask her, she just kicks it (in) . . . She’s that good. It’s not the surface.”

 

JEFF BLOOM, CO-OWNER MIDNIGHT BISOU, WINNER: “Wow, she answered every question today.  She handled the off track, she handled two turns and she did it with a hand ride. We’ll check with Bill, but we plan to run in the Oaks here (Santa Anita, Grade I, at 1 1/16 miles April 7) and then the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I, 1 1/8 miles on May 4).

 

NOTES: The winning owners are Bloom Racing Stable LLC and Allen Racing LLC.

Everyone at the end of the day is only going to remember the Kentucky Derby winner as the most important horse now, but the one thing that I’ve seen over the years, and we’ve been fortunate to win a lot of the prep races and two Derbys now, I think the excitement level for the owners is that this is what really drives them, this is what motivates them, this is what excites them. These are the races they want to win. To get to Churchill I think is kind of everyone’s ultimate goal or ultimate dream. It was similar to what we did with Always Dreaming last year. We knew we had to perform well in the Florida Derby or we weren’t going to accumulate enough points to get in, but we also all felt like if you don’t run well in your final prep then you’re probably not going to Churchill anyway. The most important thing is we thought he ran a huge race in the Holy Bull, we didn’t feel that there was a benefit to running him back in between, that we could hopefully take another step forward by giving him some space between those races and the fact that the Florida Derby is a Grade 1 is super-important to a stallion like he’s going to be.”

Todd Pletcher, Trainer of winner Audible in Florida Derby
  • 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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