The following post first appeared earlier this week at Paulick Report.
The promising 2-year-old filly Midnight Ballet became the first stakes winner for her sire, Midnight Lute, with a three-quarter length victory in the Sharp Cat Stakes at Hollywood Park. The dark bay filly raced the mile and a sixteenth over synthetic in 1:45.93 to win from Renee’s Titan (by Bernstein).
The performance of Midnight Ballet and other first-crop stock by Midnight Lute indicate that they are running to their pedigrees and type, not to the summary racing record of their sire, which would label him a specialist sprinter.
When champion sprinter Midnight Lute went to stud, my advice to breeders was to mate him with proper attention to the horse’s pedigree and not feel that they needed to send him staying mares to get a foal with the potential to race two turns.
Without any doubt, Midnight Lute had a lot of speed and proved it as champion sprinter. The big, dark brown horse twice won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and there were few faster.
Midnight Lute, however, is a son of champion 3-year-old Real Quiet, who showed his best form going 10 furlongs in the Kentucky Derby and the 9.5 furlong Preakness, as well as in the Pimlico Special the following year. Furthermore, Midnight Lute is out of a mare by champion Dehere who has produced two additional stakes horses.
Also second in the G1 Cigar Mile, Midnight Lute was bred to race at least a mile, and his scope and size indicate that distance or farther was well within his scope. As a result of his size and quality, Midnight Lute sold for $70,000 as a yearling out of the sales consignment of Trackside Farm, which was also co-breeder of the future champion.
Eddie Woods, agent, consigned Midnight Lute to the 2005 OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training, and the near-black colt worked well but was not sold at a hammer price of $290,000. The horse then went into the stable of trainer Bob Baffert, and the rest is racing history.
In between his sales and racing successes, Midnight Lute developed a problem with his throat that required surgery and that worked to limit his distance capacity. That Midnight Lute had the versatility and natural ability to race at the highest level despite the throat problem indicates what he might have been able to accomplish otherwise.
Combined with the horse’s mechanical profile, which indicates plenty of distance capacity, these considerations point out Midnight Lute as a stallion who is likely to sire horses with a racing profile quite different from his own. While he will doubtless get some good horses at sprint distances, the probabilities are that his offspring will be even better at a mile or more.
That will naturally depend in part on the mares sent to him, and my advice not to fear sending the horse a speedier mare was based on the desire to maintain as much speed as possible for American racing. So far, Midnight Lute has eight winners and three more stakes horses from his first crop of juveniles. One stakes horse is out of a mare by Valid Expectations, a noted speed source standing in Texas, and the other two are out of mares by classic winners Charismatic and Tabasco Cat.
The racing aptitude of the dams will have a significant impact on any stallion’s offspring, and Buzz Song (Unbridled’s Song) was a good performer on the racetrack. She won the Blue Hen Stakes and a maiden in a career of four starts.
Bred in Kentucky by Kings Way Farm and Paraneck Stallions, Buzz Song sold for $200,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale, and she proceeded to become a stakes winner at the races. On Nov. 10, the 10-year-old mare sold for $155,000 at the Keeneland November sale in foal to Mineshaft on an April 3 cover. Oscar Benavides, agent for St. George Stables, made the successful bid, and the following day, Midnight Ballet became her dam’s first stakes winner.
The Sharp Cat winner is the third winner from her dam’s first four foals, and the second foal, Moon Buzz (Malibu Moon), has placed in two stakes and has earned $125,810 to date.
Buzz Song has a yearling filly by Tale of the Cat and a weanling filly by Indian Charlie.