04/10/2011 6:40PM

Who is Kentucky Derby contender Midnight Interlude?


Midnight Interlude wins 2011 Santa Anita Derby
Midnight Interlude, coming off a victory against maidens, outran eight other rivals to capture the Santa Anita Derby and earn a trip to the Kentucky Derby. (Benoit Photo)

A relative unknown before Saturday's Santa Anita Derby, Midnight Interlude is now attempting to become the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882. Here's a look not-so-far back on the the colt's young career.

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Midnight Interlude's debut was described as an intriguing maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds by Daily Racing Form's Steve Andersen:

"Baffert starts Tokubetsu ... and Midnight Interlude, a first-time starter by War Chant. Midnight Interlude is owned by breeder Arnold Zetcher and has shown quick works, including two from the gate, in recent weeks."

Midnight Interlude's first race chart



Soon after being named one of 364 early 2011 Triple Crown nominees, Midnight Interlude lost a fast-paced route to the unnominated Red Sharp Humor. As Steve Anderson wrote:

"Midnight Interlude ran a respectable second in his second start and first race around two turns."

Midnight Interlude's second race chart


Steve Grabowski described Midnight Interlude's maiden win, and later workouts, in the Closer Look section of DRF's 2011 Santa Anita Derby PPs:

"...looked pretty good running away from an overmatched bunch of maidens and he sizzled through 3/4s here on Monday for an outfit that works them fast; his lick figures to be on display from this draw, but he'll get a pretty tough class test and after his early efforts it wouldn't be a surprise if he had little left to offer in the drive."

Midnight Interlude's third race chart


He grew up in a hurry," trainer Bob Baffert said. "His work was really brilliant this week."

Midnight Interlude's Santa Anita Derby chart

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