American Raiders Midnight Bisou, Sir Winston and Mucho Gusto Begin Saudi Voyage
Champion Older Female Horse of 2019 Midnight Bisou will make her start in the most valuable race in the world, the US$20 million Saudi Cup.
The daughter of Midnight Lute, one of the top-ranked fillies of 2018 is all set to make history as the first horse to win the inaugural running of the US$20million affair.
"She's a tremendous horse. I think she looks fabulous right now and is training as good, if not better, than ever," said trainer Steve Asmussen.
Owned by Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, and Allen Racing, Midnight Bisou has won or placed in 18 stakes over her 19-race career. She has a 12-4-3 record and earnings of US$3.75 million.
The Saudi Cup and its supporting races will be held at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.
Set to travel with her is Woodford Racing's Engage, who is being targeted for the Riyadh Dirt Sprint, a US$1.5 million race at 1,200 meters (about six furlongs). Engage placed a strong fourth in the Gr.1 Breeders' Cup Sprint (after winning the Gr.2 Ogden Phoenix Stakes.
In her last workout before the long journey to Saudi Arabia, Asmussen timed her galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.60 and seven furlongs in 1:25.60.
“That’s just who she is, and it’s what’s going to be required when you’re going for a $20 million purse,” said the top-conditioner.
Midnight Bisou is a stronger horse right now than the one who finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, her most recent start and her only loss in an eight-start 2019 campaign that yielded an Eclipse Award. If all goes as planned, Midnight Bisou will ship straight from Saudi Arabia on to Dubai for a start in the US$10 million World Cup alongside stablemates Engage and Rowdy Yates.
Engage runs in the US$1.5 million Saudi Sprint while Rowdy Yates starts in the US$800,000 Saudi Derby.
Mucho Gusto owned by Prince Faisal Bin Khaled, in the Gr.1 Pegasus World Cup, worked six furlongs on a fast track for trainer Bob Baffert before he travelled for the inaugural cup as well.
The 4-year-old Mucho Macho Man colt was timed in 1:11 4/5, the fastest time of seven at the distance.
Sir Winston is another top-quality American raider aimed at the Saudi Cup. Tracy Farmer's homebred Gr.1 Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston recently won his allowance optional claimer at Aqueduct Racetrack, his second race since the Belmont. The Awesome Again colt trained by Mark Casse will also compete in the upcoming Gr.1 Dubai World Cup.