07/03/2013 12:26PM

Hollywood Park: Midnight Music racing for two in Lucie Manet


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Midnight Music is racing for two these days. Earlier this year, according to trainer Tom Proctor, she was bred to the stallion Lonhro and is carrying a foal. But she can still race, and race she will Friday night, when she makes her second start of the year in the $70,000-added Lucie Manet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The Lucie Manet, named for the multiple-stakes-winning South American mare whose biggest Hollywood Park win came via dead heat in the 1978 Gamely, is the seventh race on an eight-race card that begins at 7:05 p.m. Pacific and is the final night card scheduled before this track shutters at year’s end. Six older females are entered in the 1 1/4-mile grass race, including a second Proctor entrant, Customer Base.

Until this year, Midnight Music had raced exclusively in her native Ireland. In her lone start in the United States, she was third in the Keertana at Churchill Downs on May 18. Proctor then brought her to California and looked for the longest races possible.

“She won going two miles in Ireland, and she carried 155 pounds,” Proctor said. “Heck, I was thinking of riding her.”

Proctor is hoping Midnight Music is calmer than she was in the Keertana, in which “she was a little fresh,” he said.

“She was rank the first part, but she didn’t throw in the towel,” Proctor said.

Customer Base is making her third start off a layoff and comes into the Lucie Manet following a second-place finish in the restricted Redondo Beach going one mile here June 9.

“It was a good race,” Proctor said. “She got hung up a little, but she ran well.”

Proctor said both Customer Base and Midnight Music will be part of his 35-head Del Mar contingent.

The biggest threat to Proctor’s pair appears to be Caelis, who was third in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara at Santa Anita last time out April 20. Caelis, trained by Peter Miller, has finished in the money in all five of her two-turn grass races since being imported from Great Britain.

Miss Pippa comes off a win in a first-level allowance June 6. She has not finished worse than second in her last four starts, all two-turn grass races.

Little Emily is the likely pacesetter. She finished last in the Redondo Beach, losing her best chance in traffic early and never recovering. Blinkers go on for the Lucie Manet.

Madera Castana seems well off her best form. She’s finished in front of just three horses total in her last five starts.