Midnight Soiree Set for Victory at Gulfstream Park
Midnight Soiree earned her first stakes success at Gulfstream Park last time out, fighting off a persistent rival through the stretch run to capture the $117,500 Martha Washington Stakes.
Trainer Lisa Lewis and owners Randy McBride, James Pickering, Terry Hookstra and Arcilla Hudgins didn’t get to immediately celebrate their 3-year-old filly’s breakthrough triumph due to a disqualification, but the daughter of Include was subsequently declared the winner of the mile turf stakes through a speedy appeal.
“They handled it fast and seemed to want to do the right thing. I can’t complain,” Lewis said. “It’s so important – the win, not only for the owners and us, but for the filly to get black type as a broodmare. We definitely didn’t want to lose that if we could avoid it.”
Midnight Soiree is scheduled to seek her second consecutive stakes success against 10 other fillies at 7 ½ furlongs on turf in the Miss Gracie.
“The filly’s always been a nice filly and always trains well. She tries hard. I think she’s always a bit underrated because her numbers are never real fast, but if you look at her form in general, she’s very consistent,” Lewis said. “I honestly think the turf races are her best races, but the I think the two turns makes a big difference too.”
Midnight Soiree broke her maiden at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt last November at Gulfstream Park West. She subsequently finished fourth at 7 ½ furlongs on turf and a distant third at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt during the Championship Meet. After a troubled fourth-place finish in a seven-furlong Florida-bred stakes on Tampa Bay Downs’ main track, she has been sent around two turns on turf in his last two starts at Gulfstream – a second-place finish behind next-out winner Bitacora in an optional claiming allowance and her three-quarters of a length score in the Martha Washington.
Lewis expects the Florida-bred filly’s form to continue to trend upward.
“She eats everything. She trains well. She likes her job. She’s just one of those fillies that makes training horses easy,” Lewis said. “She’s the kind of filly that you wish you had a whole barn full of.”
Luca Panici has the return mount Saturday.
Trainers Todd Pletcher and David Fawkes have each entered a pair of fillies in the Miss Gracie.
Pletcher-trained Shanghai Starlet captured the off-the-turf Panama City Stakes last time out for King of Prussia Stable, while stablemate Treasure for Gold has won three straight turf starts on Gulfstream turf for Robyn Thompson. Edgard Zayas has the return mount aboard Shanghai Starlet, while Paco Lopez will ride Treasure for Gold.
Fawkes will be represented by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Florida Fuego, a multiple stakes winner on dirt who has yet to run on turf, and American Frolic, who captured an optional claiming allowance on turf last time out for Stride Rite Racing Stable.
Jesus Rios has been named to ride Florida Fuego, while Miguel Vasquez has the return mount aboard American Frolic.
Dahlonega, Lisa Limon, Whiteheelgirl, Cry Uncle, Yougottopaytopla and Weekend Mischief round out the field.
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