LEXINGTON, Ky. – Champion Midnight Bisou further stamped her divisional superiority when she cruised to victory in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 27, a performance that allowed the daughter of Midnight Lute to continue her reign in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll.
In her first start since running second in the $20 million Saudi Cup on February 29, Midnight Bisou scored an 8 ¼-length triumph in the Fleur de Lis over a field that included 2019 Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress. That victory earned the 2019 Eclipse Award heroine for champion older dirt female 25 first-place votes and 390 points this week to retain the top spot in the poll, a position she has held since March 10.
“I can’t say enough how thankful we are to (owners) Jeff Bloom, Sol Kumin and the Allens for keeping this brilliant mare in training for this year,” Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who conditions Midnight Bisou, told the Churchill Downs publicity team.
Midnight Bisou was not alone in uncorking an emphatic performance beneath the Twin Spires this past weekend. G M B Racing’s Tom’s d’Etat drew off to a 4 ¼-length victory over By My Standards in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster Stakes to move up to second in the poll with 9 first-place votes and 347 points. The Stephen Foster marked the fourth consecutive victory for Tom’s d’Etat, who earned a fees-paid berth into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Grade 1-winner Mucho Gusto (217 points) holds in third with Code of Honor (4 first-place votes, 206 points) sitting fourth ahead of his expected run in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on July 4. By My Standards (180 points) drops to fifth followed by leading 3-year-old male Tiz the Law (3 first-place votes, 123 points) and Zulu Alpha (119 points). Vekoma (116 points), Maximum Security (3 first-place votes, 90 points), and Improbable (85) round out the top 10.
As evidenced by his status as the lone sophomore runner ranked in the top 10 of the Thoroughbred Poll, Tiz the Law remains the clear leader of the NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll.
The Belmont Stakes winner earned 40 first-place votes and 409 points to maintain his lead position. Trained by Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law is expected to make his next start in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes on August 8 at Saratoga Race Course.
Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A. P. (1 first-place vote, 367 points) remains second followed by graded-stakes winner Authentic (276 points)and Belmont Stakes runner-up Dr Post (223).
King Guillermo (200 points) held in fifth with Grade 1 Acorn Stakes winner Gamine (138)in sixth. Grade 1-winner Charlatan (105 points) is seventh followed by Max Player (97), Swiss Skydiver (71) and Maxfield (66) to complete the top 10.
The NTRA Top Thoroughbred polls are the sport’s most comprehensive surveys of experts. Every week eligible journalists and broadcasters cast votes for their top 10 horses, with points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. All horses that have raced in the U.S., are in training in the U.S., or are known to be pointing to a major event in the U.S. are eligible for the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Voting in both the Top 3-Year-Old Poll and the Top Thoroughbred Poll is scheduled to be conducted through the conclusion of the Breeders’ Cup in November.
The full results for the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll can be found on the NTRA website at: https://www.ntra.com/ntra-top-thoroughbred-poll-june-29-2020/
Full accounting of top 10 votes by voter can be found at: https://mk0ntrauj6jy9vera.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/Polls-week18-by_voter-2020.pdf
NYRA Press Release Photo: Midnight Bisou wins the 2020 Fleur de Lis with Mike Smith up. Credit: Coady Photography