Racing News

Midnight Lucky conquers Sunland Oaks in record-setting performance

  • Midnight Lucky (Sunland Park/Coady Photography)

Midnight Lucky didn't need any luck, or much encouragement from jockey Rafael Bejarano either, as she romped by eight lengths in Sunday's $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks.

Trained by Bob Baffert, the gray miss was making her stakes and two-turn debut in the 1 1/16-mile contest and easily proved capable of handling such a task when setting a new Sunland Park track record of 1:41.06 over the fast going.

Midnight Lucky, who also romped by 7 1/4 length in her career bow on February 16 at Santa Anita, sped to the front when the gates opened but found company in the form of Majestic River to her inside. Bejarano allowed his filly to settle in a pressing spot as Majestic River set a blistering opening quarter in an initially reported :21 before slowing it down for the half in :46 2/5.

Canticle had ranged up to Midnight Lucky's throatlatch by this point and Unusual Way was putting in a game run down on the rail to Majestic River's inside. Midnight Lucky easily repelled Canticle while moving up to take command as the leader began fading through six furlongs in 1:09 4/5.

Unusual Way abandoned the inside and angled out under jockey Edwin Maldonado to put in her challenge on the outside, but Midnight Lucky kept pulling away in the lane to eventually be eight lengths clear while geared down in the final yards.

Campaigned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, Midnight Lucky was the heavy 1-5 favorite in the eight-filly field and paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10. Unusual Way proved best of the rest by 4 1/2 lengths over Countess Curlin, with Infinitely rounding out the top four by holding Fraudulentfootnote to fifth by a head. Cantile, Majestic River and Shesatopattraction completed the order under the wire.

All indications were that Midnight Lucky was ready to run a big race, and the sophomore daughter of Midnight Lute earned a spot in the starting gate for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs after earning 50 points on the new Road to the Kentucky Oaks point system Sunday. She could now become the second Sunland Park Oaks winner for Baffert to win the Kentucky Oaks after Plum Pretty parlayed a stunning 25-length win in the former race to a quarter-length victory under the Twin Spires in 2011.

The Sunland Park Oaks was the final race in the first leg of the championship series of races on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. The six races in the second leg will now be worth 100 points to the winner.

Bred in Kentucky by C. Kidder and J.K. & Linda Griggs, Midnight Lucky is closing in on earning back her purchase price of $220,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected yearling. Thus far she's banked $153,600 to go along with her unbeaten two-for-two mark.

Midnight Lucky is out of the Citidancer mare Citiview, who was unable to win in 10 races on track, and counts as a half-sister dual stakes-placed Songofthecity. Her second dam is the stakes-winning Allen's Prospect mare Prospective Joy, who found success in the breeding shed when producing Citiview's full sister Hookedonthefeelin.

That mare would capture the Grade 1 La Brea and Grade 2 Landaluce before going on herself to foal multiple Grade 1 queen Pussycat Doll, Grade 1 victor Jimmy Creed, stakes winner Funny Feeling and multiple stakes-placed Blowing Kisses.

Farther back, this female family is responsible for champion handicap horse Bold Bidder, champion steeplechaser Top Bid and Group 1 Epsom Oaks heroine Intrepidity.

Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

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

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos


California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.