After overcoming some health issues that had kept him from performing to his potential, Midnight Lute posted a powerful victory in the Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, after which he unleashed a stunning rally to blow away his rivals in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Nominated as one of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s moments of the year, Midnight Lute’s Sprint feat cemented him as the obvious choice for an Eclipse Award as champion of his division.
The award was especially satisfying for trainer Bob Baffert, who bought Midnight Lute privately after he failed to meet his reserve at the 2005 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March 2-year-old in training sale.
Bred in Kentucky by Tom Evans, Macon Wilmil Equines, and Marjac Farm, Midnight Lute is a son of Real Quiet, with whom Baffert won the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) for his longtime client and close friend Mike Pegram.
Midnight Lute races for the partnership of Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman.
The horse won his career debut in July 2005, but due to recurring throat problems, he underwent a tie-back procedure and was sidelined until the following July.
Lute notched his initial black-type score in the Perryville Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland in the fall of his 3-year-old campaign, but had to take more time off in 2007 because his breathing problem had resurfaced.
The horse redeemed himself in capturing the Sept. 1 Forego (gr. I), after which he bested the Sprint field by 4 3/4 lengths.
Midnight Lute finished his 4-year-old year with a second in the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct. He boasts a record of 5-3-1 from 11 starts and earnings of $1,610,600.