Like 19 other of his predecessors in the 25-year history of the Breeders’ Cup, Midshipman used a Breeders’ Cup victory as a springboard to being voted champion 2-year-old male.
Midshipman, whose triumph in the Oct. 25 Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita came in his final start at 2, beat out New York graded stakes winners Vineyard Haven and Old Fashioned in Eclipse Award balloting.
A Kentucky-bred son of 1995 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Unbridled’s Song, Midshipman began his racing for his breeder, Robert and Janice McNair’s Stonerside Stable. He won at Del Mar in mid-August in his first start, and then Stonerside’s operation was sold to Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley outfit. Midshipman’s trainer, Bob Baffert, stayed on as conditioner. Shortly after the purchase, Midshipman captured the Sept. 3 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I).
In his next start Midshipman ran second in the Sept. 28 Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) at the Oak Tree meeting prior to the Juvenile. The 7-2 second choice behind fellow grade I winner Square Eddie, Midshipman beat that rival by 1 1/4 lengths, with Street Hero a half-length farther back. Midshipman, who was never favored in his four starts, earned $1,380,200.
Midshipman is a half-brother to grade II stakes-winning filly Fast Cookie. His dam, California-bred Fleet Lady (by Avenue of Flags), was bred by John and Betty Mabee and was a multiple grade II winner and a two-time California champion for their Golden Eagle Farm.