Midnight Bisou showed her class and made short work of some top females in the $350,000, Grade 2, Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.
Tapa Tapa Tapa assumed the early lead out of the gate and Shamrock Rose tracked in second after veering out at the break through a 1/4 mile in 25.51. Midnight Bisou settled in third, tucked in sweetly on the rail and Elate settled back in fourth. Through a 1/2 mile the top two positions were unchanged but Elate moved up and took over third. When they turned for home Steve Asmussen trainee Midnight Bisou was loaded but there was a wall of horses between him and the winner’s circle. But Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith was beyond patient and his ground-saving trip paid off. As Tapa Tapa Tapa tired, Smith split horses and charged through an opening on the rail and it was all over. Midnight Bisou was hand ridden late to an easy score and the four-year-old secured her second win of the year.
Elate, trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Jose Ortiz was a clear and decent second coming off a long layoff and Breeders’ Cup winner Shamrock Rose finished third, and Tapa Tapa Tapa tired to fourth.
Midnight Bisou completed the 1-1/16 miles in 1:42.74 and most likely will be seen next in The Apple Blossom Stakes on April 15 at Oaklwan Park.