Midnight Bisou To Return in Fleur de Lis Handicap


Midnight Bisou training for the Saudi Cup. Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Martin Dokoupil

It is said that there is nothing in the world more beautiful and more enchanting than a great Thoroughbred racehorse and Midnight Bisou is one of those Thoroughbreds that inspires awe within racing fans, no matter who they are. This show stopping mare is set to run next in the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs. 


Midnight Bisou first collected some dedicated fans when she won three consecutive races for three-year old fillies in 2018: Santa Ynez Stakes (G2), Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3), and the Santa Anita Oaks (G1). 


She carried those fans with her to Kentucky for the Kentucky Oaks (G1), where she finished third behind Monomoy Girl and Wonder Gadot. She won or hit the board in a few other important races that year, including the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (where she was again beaten by Monomoy Girl). 


But this Steve Asmussen trainee’s best form came when she turned four-years old in 2019. It seemed as if the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro couldn’t be beat; she reeled off seven consecutive victories. Among those seven races were the Apple Blossom (G1), Ogden Phipps (G1), and the Personal Ensign (G1). 


Those races all set her up nicely for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) that November at Santa Anita Park. She was the heavy favorite and was expected to win before heading off to the Fasig-Tipton Sale to find a home where she could become a broodmare. Unfortunately, she couldn’t catch a mare named Blue Prize in the stretch and ended up finishing second. 


Owners Bloom Racing, Madaket Stables, and Allen Racing announced soon after that she would be pulled from the sale and would race for one more, final year. It was a pleasant surprise for an industry that often sees our biggest stars retire early — we were granted with more opportunities to see this great mare display her prowess on the track. 


Midnight Bisou travelled far for her first start of 2020, the inaugural Saudi Cup. There she would be facing the best males from all over the world, including Mucho Gusto, McKinzie, Benbatl, and Maximum Security. It almost looked as if Midnight Bisou would be well-beaten in the race as the field rounded the far turn, but her jockey Mike Smith guided her confidently along the rail. She blew past her rivals with ease to be just narrowly defeated by Maximum Security.


Since then, Midnight Bisou has been both resting and training exceptionally well. She seems geared up for another great season of racing, starting with the Fleur de Lis Handicap. The only horse who some bettors believe stands a chance at beating her is Serengeti Empress, the winner of the 2019 Kentucky Oaks. Serengeti Empress loves to set the pace and Midnight Bisou is a closer, meaning that Bisou will need to have the energy, time, and speed to run past Serengeti Empress in the stretch.


Talented mares like Go Google Yourself and Chocolate Kisses will also be looking to get to the wire before Midnight Bisou does.


Fans have been anxiously awaiting the return of Midnight Bisou — Saturday we will find out if she is still as divine as she was just a few months ago.


[Video: Watch Midnight Bisou's thrilling victory in the Personal Ensign Stakes in 2019]


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