Midnight Lute , the only horse to win the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) twice, has been retired from racing and will stand at John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms near Lexington in 2009. His fee is $20,000.
Midnight Lute, who earned a career total of $2,690,600, posted a 124 Beyer Speed Figure, one of the highest Beyers ever and the highest for a sprinter since 1992, when he defeated Benny the Bull in last year’s Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. That win set the stage for his victory in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint at six furlongs at Monmouth Park, an effort that secured an Eclipse Award as best sprinter. His second Sprint win, last weekend at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, came in 1:07.08, the fastest in the 25-year history of the race, for Watson and Weitman Performances and Mike Pegram.
"I've never had a horse like him," said trainer Bob Baffert after Midnight Lute's second win in the Sprint, which was sponsored by Sentient Flight Group. "He showed today what a great horse he is. He's a beast; a massive, beautiful horse. The perfect Thoroughbred. He's the best I've ever trained. I can't put into words how good this horse is. All of my client's will be breeding their best mares to him, Silverbulletday and Tough Tiz's Sis for starters."
"Midnight Lute is perfection in his conformation," said John Sikura. "Big, long, beautiful and perfectly correct. He is breathtaking to look at, and we expect him to be a top sire."
During his career, Midnight Lute also won the Perryville Stakes (gr. III) in track-record time at Keeneland and placed in the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) and Malibu (gr. I) and San Fernando Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) Stakes. The 5-year-old son of Real Quiet retired with six wins from 13 starts.
Bred in Kentucky by Tom Evans, Macon Wilmil Equines, and Marjac Farms, Midnight Lute is out of the Dehere mare Candytuft, a daughter of grade III winner Bolt From the Blue.