November 30, 2023

Midnight Bisou set for season debut in Houston Ladies Classic

Midnight Bisou and jockey Mike Smith win the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Santa Anita Park © Benoit Photo

In the shadow of Monomoy Girl for much of last season, Midnight Bisou will have an opportunity to shine in her 2019 debut Sunday in the $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) at Sam Houston.

The highlight of opening weekend at the track, the Houston Ladies Classic also anchors the most lucrative card of the meet that features several other stakes, including the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup (G3).

Generally ranked second behind Monomoy Girl in the three-year-old division last term, Midnight Bisou captured the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), Mother Goose (G2), and Santa Ysabel (G3) in the first half of the year, but had to settle for minor awards when finishing behind Monomoy Girl in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).

Midnight Bisou did beat Monomoy Girl once, via a Parx stewards ruling, in the Cotillion (G1) when Monomoy Girl was disqualified from first to second after interfering with Midnight Bisou in deep stretch.

The Houston Ladies Classic attracted six others to go 1 1/16 miles, the most notable among them being Falls City H. (G2) winner Prado’s Sweet Ride. The seven-year-old exits a fifth-place finish in the $75,000 Blushing K. D. at Fair Grounds on turf.

Remedy, like Midnight Bisou a newly-turned four-year-old, ended her sophomore campaign with back-to-back seconds in the Remington Park Oaks (G3) and Comely (G3).

Bigger Picture prevailed as the favorite and defending champion in the John B. Connally Turf Cup (Photo courtesy Coady Photography)

The Mike Maker-trained Bigger Picture will look to make it three wins in a row in the 1 1/2-mile John B. Connally Turf Cup. Though winless since last year’s edition, the eight-year-old was a narrowly beaten second in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) and Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) last fall.

The main threats to Bigger Picture could come from stablemate Markitoff, Grade 3 veteran Some in Tieme, and Team Colors.

In other stakes action, Hogy will look to defend his title in the $75,000 Frontier Utilities Turf Sprint over five furlongs, with the speedy Latent Revenge the one to catch.