04/11/2011 10:11AM

Midnight Interlude

Midnight Interlude
Shigeki Kikkawa
Date Track Race Finish Chart Distance Time BSF Video
5/21/11 PIM Preakness 13th 1 3/16 mile 1:56.40 71 Video
5/7/11 CD Kentucky Derby 16th 1 1/4 mile 2:02.00 77 Video
4/9/11 SA Santa Anita Derby 1st 1 1/8 mile 1:48.60 97 Video

Midnight Interlude

Owner: Arnold Zetcher LLC
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Record: 5-2-1-1
Best Beyer: 97
Breeder: Arnold Zetcher LLC
Tomlinson Distance Rating: 301

Auction: Out yearling (Keeneland, September 2009)
Dosage Profile: 6-5-15-0-0 (26)
Dosage Index: 2.47
Center of Distribution: 0.65



By Brad Free

Midnight Interlude hails from one of the hottest stables in the nation. Trainer Bob Baffert entered the middle of May second in earnings ($5.2 million), thanks to an outstanding 30 percent win rate and 12 graded stakes from 10 horses, including Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty.

As for lightly raced (five starts) Midnight Interlude, his conspicuous upward pattern came to a screeching halt when he finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby. If that race somehow can be discounted, he fits on figures. The career-best 97 Beyer he earned two starts back winning the Santa Anita Derby is roughly equivalent to most of his Preakness rivals.

Midnight Interlude apparently was exposed when he finished in front of only three others in the Kentucky Derby. His Santa Anita Derby victory falls short under scrutiny. He was fully extended to win that slow-paced race, which was run without favorites Premier Pegasus and Jaycito.

Baffert won the Preakness a year ago with Lookin At Lucky, who also was off the board in the Derby. But the only similarity between that already established colt and Midnight Interlude is the trainer. Midnight Interlude has yet to prove he can cope with legitimate fractions, which he is likely to face in the Preakness. The bottom line is that Midnight Interlude is not good enough, at least not yet.

Midnight Interlude faces a tall order. On the other hand, Baffert is not one to “take shots” without a valid reason. A case might be made that Midnight Interlude is worth backing at 20-1 or higher purely on the hot-trainer angle. However, based on established ability, the son of War Chant falls short.


By Dan Illman

War Chant won at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, and was a graded winner on dirt and turf. Ninth in the 2000 Kentucky Derby, he uncorked a furious stretch run to win the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile on turf with a 108 Beyer Speed Figure. War Chant won the first three starts of his career, including the Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes at a mile before finishing second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby at nine furlongs.

At stud, War Chant's progeny have done best on grass. Chamberlain Bridge won last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at five furlongs. Kingsfort earned his biggest victory in the Group 1 National Stakes on turf in Ireland. Other graded winners by War Chant include Brilliant (Jefferson Cup, nine furlongs on turf), War Kill (Beaumont Stakes, seven furlongs on polytrack), and Karen's Caper (multiple Grade 3 winner on turf).

Midnight Kiss won two of four starts in her native New Zealand, and finished third in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks at 1 1/2 miles on grass. Racing exclusively on grass, Midnight Kiss was a true stayer, prevailing in a maiden at 1 3/16 miles as well as an allowance at 11 panels.
This is the female family of graded/group winners Slip Screen (Long Island Handicap, $201,570 in earnings), Bemis Heights (Ruthless Stakes), Who's to Answer (Bed O'Roses Handicap), and Or Acier (Group 3 winner in Italy).

Although primarily bred to succeed on turf, Midnight Interlude proved that he could handle dirt with his win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. The dam should give him enough stamina to last in longer-distance races.