Midnight Disguise rings down curtain on “sister act” with late-charging Bouwerie victory

Monday, May 28th, 2018

NYRA/Susie Raisher

By Sarah Mace

Just two races after her older half-sister Holiday Disguise won a thrilling renewal of the Critical Eye Stakes on Belmont’s Big Apple Showcase Day, William B. Wilmot and Joan M. Taylor’s homebred Midnight Disguise was not to be outdone. With blinkers added, the filly unleashed her patented ground-gobbling late kick in the final furlong to record an open-length victory in the 7-furlong, $125,000 Bouwerie Stakes in a strong final time.

Winner of the Busanda Stakes in January and Busher in March in back-to-back starts, the towering 3-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute only managed fourth as the favorite in the Grade 2 Gazelle on April 7. The connections opted to bypass the Kentucky Oaks and regroup.

For the next race, trainer Linda Rice pointed Midnight Disguise to the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on May 18 at Pimlico Race Course, but that start was compromised by a foot bruise.

“She ended up lame in the stall about two days before the race,” Rice told the DRF’s David Grening. “We had to pull a shoe on her, but with a couple days of tubbing and whatnot, it went away pretty quickly. So, it changed our course if only briefly. We’re hoping to get a good race into her.”

And a very good race it was.

In the early stages, 2-1 favorite Midnight Disguise settled in next-to-last place outside of horses after breaking from post eight of nine. Meanwhile while She’s Quiet showed the way through a first half-mile in 45.34.

Still bounding along and unhurried as she entered the far turn, Midnight Disguise began to build her momentum in the bend, gained seventh and worked her way to the outside of the pack under Ortiz.

Six paths from the rail at the quarter pole, Midnight Disguise still had work to do and her jockey shook her up.

Passing three horses and hitting her best stride in the final furlong, Midnight Disguise powered past her three remaining rivals with her huge strides and kept on going. She secured the victory by 2 3/4 lengths in a strong final time of 1:22.86 over the fast going. English Soul closed from midpack to finish second, while another closer Split Time got up for show honors. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

Rice was thrilled with the performance. “It’s really exciting. We missed the Black-Eyed Susan with her. We came off a pretty lackluster performance in the Gazelle, so I just wanted to use this race to get her back on track.”

Regarding the equipment change, Rice explained, “We put blinkers on her to get her a little more focused. She’d look around quite a bit in her previous races. I think the blinkers were a good addition, and this, hopefully will set us up for the [Grade 2] Mother Goose [June 30].”

Jose Ortiz concurred about the blinkers. “It was good. Linda made a great call putting the blinkers on, she was a lot closer than we thought she was going to be. She’s a really big filly. It takes her a while to get her feet and get into her stride. I was in good position and the main thing was to stay clear so you don’t get stopped in traffic, because it would take her a long time to get her going again because she has a big stride.”

A winner of five races with one runner-up finish from seven starts, Midnight Disguise has earned $347,600, recording victories from six to nine furlongs. All she seems to need is a little pace to run into and lots of running room.

The dam of Midnight Disguise and Holiday Disguise is Wilmot and Taylor’s winning homebred Thin Disguise (Yes It’s True). This productive mare is a half-sister to millionaire and 2007 New York-bred Horse of the Year Naughty New Yorker. She currently has a 2-year-old colt by Verrazano a yearling filly by Tiznow and foaled a Bodemeister filly on April 20.


Leave a Reply