Midnight Disguise Earns Oaks Points With Busher Victory

Midnight Disguise rallied from last to earn her second straight stakes win, charging home a 1 ¾-length winner in the 39th running of the $200,000 Busher for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Under regular jockey Trevor McCarthy, Midnight Disguise was unhurried through the early going, settling at the back of the pack as California invader and 2-1 favorite War Heroine took the field of six through an opening quarter-mile in 24.57 seconds and the half in 48.96.

The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Sara Street, racing in second early under Dylan Davis, grabbed the lead from a tiring War Heroine at the top of the stretch but could not hold off Midnight Disguise, who made a five-wide move through the turn and closed with a rush to complete the one-turn mile in 1:39.15.

Off at 5-2, the winner returned $7.90 for a $2 win wager.

The stakes win was the second straight at the Big A for the Linda Rice trainee, following a powerful 4 ½-length score in her two-turn debut in the Busanda at 1 1/8 miles on January 25.

“I was able to sit just about last with her and follow a little cover for a little while down the backside,” said McCarthy. “She’s one that likes to be on the outside. She’s a big filly [with a] huge stride, so there’s no sense in to keeping her bottled up inside. You just kind of get her out and get her momentum rolling, and it just seems like she’s improving every race. I think the more ground, the better for her, so I was happy she got the mile today, but I definitely think she’ll improve with distance.”

A New York-bred filly by Midnight Lute owned and bred by William B. Wilmot and Joan M. Taylor, Midnight Disguise has won four of her five career starts, all at the Big A since December 15. Her single career loss came as a second-place finish in the one-mile East View for New York-bred fillies on January 14Saturday’s win increases her lifetime earnings to $257,600.

“She really kicks into gear late,” said Rice. “She’s a big filly and she’s obviously learned a lot, and we’ve made a lot of progress with her in the last three months and I was delighted. This was a much tougher race then she’d run in thus far. We were aware of that obviously, but she seems to step through every hurdle we give her. I’m very excited.”

As part of the Kentucky Oaks Championship Series, the Busher virtually guarantees Midnight Disguise a berth in the Oaks at Churchill Downs, awarding 50 qualifying points to the winner, should her connections choose to make a bid for the lilies on May 4. The Busher victory brings her total qualifying points to 60, including 10 for her win in the Busanda.

For her part though, Rice is focused instead on the next test, running back around two turns in the 1 1/8-mile Grade 2 Gazelle on the Wood Memorial undercard on April 7.

“We’re pointing towards the Gazelle and that would be the natural stepping stone to the Oaks,” she said. “I’ve never run in the Oaks, and the possibility is very exciting.”

Runner-up Sara Street earned 20 points towards a spot in the Oaks, while third-place finisher My Miss Lilly picked up 10. Shamrock Rose was fourth to earn five points. War Heroine and Gypsy Janie completed the order of finish. Youvegottopaytopla and Blue Union Rags were scratched.

The post Midnight Disguise Earns Oaks Points With Busher Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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