(Edited Keeneland report)
Midnight Lute, who scored his first career stakes victory last October in Keeneland’s Perryville (gr. III), returns to the Lexington track for the $400,000 Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) on Saturday. The Bob Baffert trainee is the 120-pound highweight for the Commonwealth, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up.
After winning the seven-furlong Perryville, Midnight Lute returned to California, where he was in last December’s Malibu (gr. I), also at seven furlongs. He opened his 2007 campaign trying longer distances, finishing second in the 1 1/16-mile San Fernando Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) and fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Strub (gr. II). Midnight Lute, who will be ridden in the Commonwealth by Edgar Prado, races for Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s Watson and Weitman Performances LLC and Mike Pegram. For Pegram, Baffert trained Midnight Lute’s champion sire, Real Quiet, to win the 1998 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I).
Among Midnight Lute’s 11 challengers are two horses who raced in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Thoroughbred Championships at Churchill Downs: Silent Name, who was sixth in the NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I), and Lewis Michael, 11th in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I). Another Commonwealth starter is Canadian graded stakes winner Steel Light, who finished second by a neck in Gulfstream’s Appleton (gr. III) on March 4 in his last race. The Appleton marked Steel Light’s first race since October 2005.
The field for the 21st running of the Commonwealth is as follows:
1--Buddy Got Even, Cornelio Velasquez, 118
2--River City Rebel, Julien Leparoux, 118
3--Straight Line Miguel Mena, 118
4--Steel Light, Garrett. Gomez, 118
5—Ramsgate, David Flores, 118
6--Ryan’s for Real, Dyn Panell, 118
7--Midnight Lute, Edgar Prado, 120
8--Silent Name, Corey Nakatani, 118
9--Deep Canyon, Calvin Borel, 118
10--Gin and Sin, Rafael Bejarano, 118
11--Lewis Michael, Rene Douglas, 118
12—Finance, Javier Castellano, 118