Monday, November 12, 2012
Midnight Ballet rallies to win Sharp Cat
By Jack Shinar
Midnight Ballet delivered a couple of firsts Nov. 11 in winning the $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The 2-year-old dark bay or brown filly become the first stakes winner for freshman sire and two-time champion Midnight Lute and gave jockey Julien Leparoux his first stakes win during the Hollywood Park autumn meet in three years.
Midnight Lute stands at John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms. He stood for $15,000 this year.
Making her first start beyond six furlongs, Midnight Ballet scored a 10-1 upset over Renee's Titan, 4-5 favorite Scarlet Strike and four other juvenile fillies.
Owned by Stoneway Farm and trained by Tom Proctor, the filly won for the second time in three starts and pushed her earnings to $103,000. She hit the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Renee's Titan and completed the 1 1/16 miles over Hollywood's Cushion Track in 1:45.93.
Midnight Ballet is out of the stakes winner Buzz Song, by Unbridled's Song . She is the fourth foal of racing age out of Buzz Song, and the mare's first stakes winner. Midnight Ballet was bred in Kentucky by SyBon Racing Stable and bought by Stoneway Farm for $100,000 out of the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling sale. The filly was consignor Taylor Made Sales Agency, as agent.
A winner at nearly 9-1 in her Aug. 11 debut at Del Mar, Midnight Ballet was well beaten in her only try over conventional dirt, finishing 19 lengths behind eventual Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Beholder in an allowance race at Santa Anita Park Oct. 4.
"I think the two turn distance helped her," said Leparoux after his first stakes win at the Autumn meet since he took the 2009 Hollywood Prevue aboard American Lion. "She's a big filly and she breaks OK, but she's not real fast. I decided to put her on the rail, save ground and follow the favorite. I got her out at the quarter pole and she made a nice run."
Midnight Ballet paid $22.20, $10.80 and $4.60. Renee's Titan, who was 11-1, returned $10.80 and $4.60. The show price on Scarlet Strike was $2.10.