A Venneri Racing and Little Red Feather Racing’s Midnight Storm took his second graded stake in a row this Sunday, leading from gate-to-wire to in a gutsy effort to win the G2 Eddie Read Stakes by a half-length. The 5-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile and jockey Rafael Bejarano sped through nine furlongs over Del Mar’s firm turf course in 1:47.88 for trainer Phil D’Amato.
Midnight Storm was quick out of the gates for Bejarano, but was quickly joined by Bolo from the outer-most post position. Midnight Storm was unsettled through a first quarter in :23.82, seeming to not like Bolo’s presence at his throatlatch, so Bejarano allowed him to take up a comfortable one-length lead. Behind Bolo, it was several lengths back to Si Sage tracking the pace in fourth, with Dubai Turf fifth-place finisher Flamboyant just a couple lengths behind him and tucked in behind horses. As Midnight Storm settled to mark the half-mile in :48.03, veteran Mike Smith on Bolo moved his charge up to within three-quarters of a length in an attempt to keep the leader’s pace as honest as possible.
Rounding the far turn, Bolo appeared out of gas as Smith was already scrubbing away, but Midnight Storm was not home free just yet. Si Sage found a seam along the rail to make his claim for the lead just as Ashleyluvssugar made his bid along the outside. Flamboyant was also moving well late, and in mid-stretch Midnight Storm appeared beaten when Si Sage thrust his nose in front. Finding just a bit more, Midnight Storm came back to gut out the win by a half-length, holding Ashleyluvssugar at bay for second. Flamboyant was just a head back in third, and Si Sage was relegated to fourth while beaten no more than a length for the win.
Bred in Kentucky by owner Alex Venneri and Marjorie Post Dye, Midnight Storm’s last start proved his caliber as he captured his first G1 win in the Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita. Confirming that quality this Sunday, Midnight Storm improved his overall record to seven wins from 17 starts, with earnings of $ 980,000.
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