Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate and scored a dominating 4 ½-length victory in the $330,600 Humana Distaff (G1) Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Midnight Lucky led the field through fractions of :22.74 and :45.04 down the backstretch. At the head of the stretch, Midnight Lucky got a challenge from Judy the Beauty, but quickly put her away to open up a clear lead. She ran the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.23.
This was the second victory in the race for Baffert, who trained Pussycat Doll to win the 2006 renewal.
“She’s a great filly; a great filly,” said Baffert matter-of-factly. “I wasn’t concerned about putting her in a race like this off the layoff (her last star was nearly a year ago in the G1 Acorn S.). She’s that kind. I know she can run on, but I’m going to keep her under a mile. That’s where she’s really good. I don’t know what I’ll do with her next, but the aim is to have her ready for the seven-eighths ($1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita). Going a mile or less, this filly is as good as any I have ever had.”
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the victory was worth $202,922 and improved Midnight Lucky’s earnings to $565,022 with a record of 5-4-0-0. Her lone loss came in last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1).