Midnight Storm switches back to dirt after a third on turf in the Breeders' Cup Mile

Midnight Storm switches back to dirt after a third on turf in the Breeders' Cup Mile

Anne M. Eberhardt

Midnight Storm Back on Dirt for Native Diver

Was third last out in Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).

Midnight Storm , whose more than $1.28 million in earnings have been picked up mostly in grass races, will switch back to dirt for the $100,000 Native Diver Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 27 at Del Mar.

The 5-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile  comes off a third at odds of 13-1 in the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park and picked up his first grade I win when he captured the Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita in June. He made 10 of his last 11 starts on turf, the lone exception being a last-of-10 result behind champion Beholder in the 2015 TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I).

Trained by Phil D'Amato for Alex Vanneri Racing and Little Red Feather Stable, Midnight Storm made his last eight starts on grass while notching four wins, among them the 2015 Seabiscuit Handicap (gr. IIT) at the Bing Crosby meeting and, last summer, the Eddie Read (gr. IIT) and Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT). He carries highweight assignment of 125 pounds in a seven-horse field, and will break from the outside at morning-line odds of 2-1 under Flavien Prat.

Hronis Racing's grade I winner Hard Aces is the most accomplished in the group, but that win at the highest level came back in June of 2015, and he has not duplicated the effort since. His last win was the Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar in July; he ran second in the Nov. 4 Marathon Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita for trainer John Sadler. Santiago Gonzalez has the mount from the rail; the 6-year-old Hard Spun  runner is 3-1 on the morning line.  

J K Racing Stable's Imperative won for the first time since 2014 when he took the Nov. 3 Big Bear Stakes at Santa Anita. He is 5-2 under Hall of Fame rider Kent Desormeaux from post 4.

Completing the field are Longacres Mile (gr. III) winner Point Piper; stakes victor Blue Tone, third in the Marathon last out; allowance winner Ebadan, and maiden winner Pretentious.

Entries: Native Diver S. (G3)

Del Mar, Sunday, November 27, 2016, Race 8

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 4:02 PM (local)
11Hard Aces (KY)Santiago Gonzalez125John W. Sadler3/1
22Ebadan (IRE)Joseph Talamo118Neil D. Drysdale20/1
33Pretentious (KY)Jamie Theriot121James M. Cassidy20/1
44Imperative (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKent J. Desormeaux121Richard Baltas5/2
55Blue Tone (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGary L. Stevens121Robert B. Hess, Jr.4/1
66Point Piper (KY)Mario Gutierrez123Jerry Hollendorfer8/1
77Midnight Storm (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat125Philip D'Amato2/1