Racing News

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

| Churchill Downs | 05/03/2014 #
  • Midnight Lucky wins the Humana Distaff (Sam English)

Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman's Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate and scored a dominating 4 ½-length victory over Street Girl in the 28th running of the $330,600 Humana Distaff (Grade I) for fillies and mares, the first of three Grade 1 stakes on Kentucky Derby Day.

Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Midnight Lucky ran the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.23. It was the second victory in the race for Baffert who trained Pussycat Doll to win the 2006 renewal for Pegram.

Midnight Lucky quickly established a daylight advantage over millionaire Judy the Beauty and led the field through fractions of :22.74 and :45.04. At the head of the stretch, Midnight Lucky shook off a challenge from Judy the Beauty and drew away.

The victory was worth $202,922 and improved Midnight Lucky's earnings to $565,022 with a record of 5-4-0-0. Her lone loss came in last year's Kentucky Oaks (GI) when she finished fifth.

Midnight Lucky is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Midnight Lute out of the Citidancer mare Citiview.

Midnight Lucky returned $5.20, $4 and $3. Street Girl, ridden by Julien leparoux, returned $13.80 and $5.40 and finished a half-length in front of Scherzinger, who paid $3.80 to show under Mike Smith.

Judy the Beauty finished another length back in fourth and was followed by Speedinthruthecity and Iotapa.

HUMANA DISTAFF QUOTES

Rosie Napravnik, rider of Midnight Lucky (winner) – "She broke out wonderfully. Coming from the outside, I was able to take my time getting into position. I was always comfortable. Coming off a year's layoff, she's just as good as she was."

Bob Baffert, trainer of Midnight Lucky (winner) – "She's a great filly; a great filly. I wasn't concerned about putting her in a race like this off the layoff (her last race was more than 11 months ago). She's that kind. I know she can run on, but I'm going to keep her under a mile. That's where she's really good. I don't know what I'll do with her next, but the aim is to have her ready for the seven-eighths ($1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita). Going a mile or less, this filly is as good as any I have ever had."

Julien Leparoux , rider of Street Girl (second) – "We got second best. The winner is a good filly. My filly, she was doing very good in the morning and I was expecting her to show up, and she did. She ran a big race and we are pleased with it."

Mike Smith, rider of Scherzinger (third) – "In the beginning we got knocked around a bit pretty good, but other than that, she ran really well."

John Velazquez, rider of favored Judy the Beauty (fourth) – "She just didn't come up with anything today. We had a great post position and ... (she was) empty. The trainer (Wesley Ward) said last week "I hate to run three weeks, but I guess I'd better run her.' She worked really well."

Wesley Ward, owner-trainer of favored Judy the Beauty (fourth) – "I went against my better judgment in running her back in three weeks. I should have stayed with the original plan (which was the Ballerina in August at Saratoga)."

Churchill Downs, the world's most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America's greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 3, 2014. The 2014 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs is scheduled for April 26-June 29. The track has hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.ChurchillDowns.com. 

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