Midnight Bisou under Mike Smith nosed out Escape Clause in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park on Sunday. Escape Clause ridden by Tyler Baze ran a dead game race and fought hard on the inside all the way to the wire. Elate was farther back in third.
Most people thought the Apple Blossom would be a re-match of the Azeri Stakes run earlier at the meet where Midnight Bisou under a heady Mike Smith ride beat Elate who was returning from a lay-off and had a wider trip. While technically it was a re-match, Escape Clause in what was the race of her life to date split the big two.
Midnight Bisou took her third in a row, and moved herself right into the discussion of the best older mare in training with Monomoy Girl still on the bench.
Mike Smith said the following after the race;
“Escape Clause ran huge, but you know, the great ones seem to pull it off no matter what.”
Elate was the disappointment of the race. She was away a tad slow, but recovered and enjoyed a decent enough trip after that. She had to wait a bit for Midnight Bisou to go bye, but it did not look like it had a significant impact on the outcome.