Starting from posts #2 and #3 respectively, Mandaloon and Midnight Bourbon broke together with Midnight Bourbon setting the pace, Sprawl under Colby Hernandez settling into second and Florent Geroux rating Mandaloun back to third. But not for long as Mandaloun moved up to Midnight Bourbon piloted by Joel Rosario.
Coming around the stretch turn Mandaloun was poised on the outside and hooked up with Midnight Bourbon. As they came past the quarter pole the two left the field behind and a match race began as they battled down the stretch until Mandaloun overtook Midnight Bourbon to win by three-quarters of a length.
Warrant under Brian Hernandez, Jr., finished third with Spa City, Sprawl and Pirate’s Punch completing the order of finished.
Fractions were :24.29, :48.25, 1:12.23 and 1:38.21 for the one and one sixteenth of a mile contest.
Mandaloun, trained by Eclipse Trainer of the Year Brad Cox, is a homebred for Juddmonte. The 4-year-old son of Into Mischief is out of Empire Maker mare Brooch. With a record of six wins out of eight starts Mandaloun, making his first start since his Haskell victory in July 2021, just added another $90,000 to his already boastful earnings of $1,651,252.
Mandaloun won the 2021 TVG.com Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth giving trainer Brad Cox two Pegasus winners with Knicks Go the victor in the Pegasus World Cup in January 2021.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bourbon was bred in Kentucky by Stronstreet Thoroughbreds. The 4-year-old is the son of Tiznow out of the Malibu Moon mare Catch the Moon. He is campaigned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC.
Midnight Bourbon also added some cash to his $1,167,970 earnings. His records reflect his resolute nature with 13 starts, two firsts, five seconds and four thirds. After breaking his maiden second time out at Ellis Park, the bay colt ran in all graded stakes winning one and placing in all but two.
2022 Louisiana Race Replay
The Five Previous Meetings
In the TVG Haskell at in July Monmouth Mandaloun placed first after Hot Rod Charlie was DQ’d while Midnight Bourbon would not finish when he clicked heels with Hot Rod Charlie and lost his rider Paco Lopez. In March, it would be Midnight Bourbon who was second to Hot Rod Charlie in the Grade II Twinspires Louisiana Derby with Mandaloun finishing sixth.
At the Fair Grounds in January the pair met again in the Grade III Lecomte where Midnight Bourbon was the victor with Mandaloun missing second by a neck behind Proxy. February would be a repeat but this time it would be Mandaloun’s turn to win with Midnight Bourbon missing second by a half-length behind Proxy in the Grade II Risen Star.
Their most famous meeting was the controversial 2021 Kentucky Derby where Mandaloun finished second half a length off of Medina Spirit with Midnight Bourbon coming in a respectable sixth in a stampede of a field.
By MB Kalinich
Photo of Mandaloun with Florent Geroux up being led to the winner’s circle after their win. (Brad Cox Racing/Twitter)