05/27/2013 5:30PM

Belmont Park: Midnight Lucky takes command in Acorn

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Barbara D. Livingston
Midnight Lucky, with Rosie Napravnik riding, pulls away in the Acorn.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Rebounding from a fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks, Midnight Lucky turned in a dominating performance to win Monday’s 83rd running of the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes by better than six lengths over Close Hatches, who was exiting the Kentucky Oaks as well.

Midnight Lucky lost her footing at the break, but recovered quickly beneath Rosie Napravnik to get a favorable early position just outside of Momentary Magic, who was coming off a maiden win but nonetheless out-sprinted everyone for the lead.

Midnight Lucky kept second choice Kauai Katie - who had also stumbled at the start - hemmed in along the rail down the backstretch, as Momentary Magic set fractions of 22.53 and 45.28 seconds.

After six furlongs in 1:10.02, the first flight bunched briefly and track announcer Tom Durkin exclaimed, “It’s wide open at the top of the stretch.”

But just as quickly, Napravnik set Midnight Lucky down, and she spurted away from the field in a flash, widening steadily to report home by 6 1/4 lengths.

Close Hatches outfinished Kauai Katie for second by three-quarters of a length. It was the same margin back to Cue the Moon in fourth, followed by Let Me Entertain U and a spent Momentary Magic.

“We had a great trip,” said Napravnik. “I really liked the post position and we were able to sit off the speed. Kauai Katie actually kind of had to sit back, so it was good for us, too. This filly just did it very easily, and she’s a very, very nice filly.”

Midnight Lucky ($4.20) won for the third time in four starts and became the third Acorn winner in the past five years for trainer Bob Baffert, joining Gabby’s Golden Gal (2009) and Contested (2012). She ran one mile in 1:35.11 seconds over a fast track.

Assistant trainer Jim Barnes said he had expected perhaps Kauai Katie to be on the lead, not Momentary Magic, “but other than that it shaped up as I expected. I wanted to be sitting anywhere from two to 2 1/2 lengths off the pace, which we were. They were moving right along, and at no point did it look like she was struggling with the racetrack. She’s just a really nice filly, and we’re happy to train her. The plan now is day by day. We’ll go back to Churchill and go from there.”

Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
She is something to "Behold", indeed. The rest of the 3yo fillies are "Dreaming".
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Just as I said Midnight Lucky would take K.K. to school and boy did she. What an awesome filly M.L. is and the scary part is she still is improving. If she remains healthy she will do some freakish things in her races that will drop alot of jaws.
Matt More than 1 year ago
singled her in the pick 4....boom.....sorry to toot my own horn....now come on with the 7 at parx
Wayne Haehner More than 1 year ago
Kauie Katie was never shown any racetrack--it would be nice to see her try the one turn mile
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
Rosie fit that filly like a glove. Bobby might want to keep her on..
reggie More than 1 year ago
Any good jockey would have won on this horse today. Different race track, smaller field, different track condition. Look how the Larry Jones horses ran before. They are speed horses who will never beat top class horses on fair tracks.
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
Midnight Lucky is a very nice filly she just needed a rider to let her break an sit still, she'll put you in the race herself without sending her an will finish as you saw today.California riders are to aggressive with her. Good job to Jimmy Barnes and his crew
ROBERT More than 1 year ago
Are you saying that Rosie is better than Rafael B, Not on any day !
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
what I'm saying is she rides patient and doesn't rush this filly out of the gate that"s the way she need's to be ridden.Is there anything that Says Rosie is better than Rafael in this articile
reggie More than 1 year ago
Top trainers giving her the rides. Does she ever win a close finish?
Tom F More than 1 year ago
West Coast horse and trainer but the credit goes to a non west coast jockey. Typical east coast nonsense
Mark More than 1 year ago
Nice one turn filly . Julia the two turn freak !
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
the definition of a freak is the ability to overcome the bumping she took at the start of the Kentucky Oaks and she was unable to do that.Not to sure i would call Julia a freak,cuz she won by 21 lenths on a speed favoring race track ( Gulfstream Park)
Mark More than 1 year ago
Freak . go ahead bet against her in three weeks . and then you will be another f . as in fool .
Mark More than 1 year ago
BTW have you even watched entire kentucky oaks ? As if the complete railroad by Calvin wasn't enough taking her entirely out of her game she was stezdied twice while down inside on the backside and after last steady already spotted the winner 2-3 lengths who BTW had a smooth trip down entire backside and second turn . After the second steady while attempting to move inside she went outside to start again and lost zero ground to the winner and was making up ground on the wire. Every article written about the oaks has described her trip as brutal yet you say otherwise. Hmmmm. Take alook . Also speed or no speed favoring track . That race is what you see when you lookup freak in the dictionary.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Freak https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc85PuLunM0&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Joel Winicki More than 1 year ago
Blah Blah Blah! She's 0 for 2 against in the most important 2yr old and 3yr old races of her generation. There is only one filly who is the freak......BEHOLDER!
P More than 1 year ago
Nice to Rosie win against a horse she was seemingly dropped from after the Breeders' Cup.
redboy More than 1 year ago
Midnight Lucky. Dominant, California Girls are 4 realllll
Dick More than 1 year ago
I said a lock of the year yesterday, and all the other Kaulia Katie, fan's where after me!!