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Gainesway Grad Midnight Lucky crushes foes in Acorn


Monday, May 27, 2013 |
Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos
click here for larger

Midnight Lucky outclassed her competition to roll to a commanding 6 ¼-length victory on Memorial Day in the Grade 1, $300,000 Acorn S. at Belmont Park. Gainesway, as agent, consigned and sold Midnight Lucky at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling sale, where the filly was purchased for $220,000 by Mike Pegram. (Click here for Chart)


With Rosie Napravnik aboard for the first time on Monday, Midnight Lucky was well in hand early, traveling in the two path behind fractions of 22.53 and 45.28 seconds set by longshot Momentary Magic. Under no urging from her rider, Midnight Lucky cruised to the lead outside the quarter pole. Several horses made their move at the same time, but Napravnik shook the reins one time at the head of the lane and immediately drew clear. The stretch run was a mere formality as the winner completed the mile in 1:35.11.

“We had a great trip,” said Napravnik. “I really liked the post position (No. 5) and we were able to sit off the speed. This filly just did it very easily and she’s a very, very nice filly.”

Bob Baffert, who won last year’s Acorn with Contested, saw Midnight Lucky earn $180,000 to nearly double her bankroll to $362,100 for Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. A romping winner of the Sunland Park Oaks in March, the Acorn was the first graded stakes score for the 3-year-old filly.

“I was expecting maybe the 1 (Kauai Katie) to be on the lead, not the 2 (Momentary Magic), but other than that it shaped up as I expected,” said Baffert’s assistant, Jim Barnes. “I wanted to be sitting anywhere from 2 to 2 ½ lengths off the pace, which we were. They were moving right along, and at no point did it look like she was struggling with the racetrack. She’s just a really nice filly and we’re so happy to train her. The plan right now is day by day. We’ll go back to Churchill (Downs) and go from there.”

Midnight Lucky broke her maiden by 7 ¼ lengths on February 13 at Santa Anita Park, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 100, then was an eight-length winner at Sunland on March 24, setting the 1 1/16 miles in a track-record 1:41.06. With three wins in four starts, the talented gray has now earned $362,100. Out of the Citidancer mare Citiview, Midnight Lucky was bred in Kentucky by C. Kidder and J.K. & Linda Griggs.