Grade 1 turf-winning Midnight Storm wins the Jan. 1 San Pasqual on Santa Anita's main track

Grade 1 turf-winning Midnight Storm wins the Jan. 1 San Pasqual on Santa Anita's main track

Benoit Photo

Met Mile on the Table for Midnight Storm

Already a grade 1 winner on turf, top-level, main-track glory is the goal.

After leading mid-stretch in the Santa Anita Handicap Presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino (G1) March 11, Midnight Storm  ended up falling three-quarters of a length short of joining the exclusive group of horses who are grade 1 winners on turf and dirt.

With Shaman Ghost  denying him in the Big 'Cap, a top-level, main-track triumph remains the main objective for the 6-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile  in the coming months.

A start in the Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park June 10 is among the races being considered for Midnight Storm, Little Red Feather Racing managing partner Billy Koch said March 16. The dark bay horse has already proven he is among the best in the turf male division, winning the Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1T) June and running third in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T). His dual-surface talent was validated when he captured the Native Diver Stakes (G3) in November at Del Mar then opened his 2017 campaign with a victory in the Jan. 1 San Pasqual Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park, the same track where he was just a handful of strides from a 'Big Cap victory.

BALAN: Shaman Ghost Wears Down Midnight Storm in Big 'Cap

"He bounced out of the race in really good shape and he runs so hard. That's why we give him time between each race," said Koch, whose Little Red Feather partnership owns Midnight Storm along with A Venneri Racing. "I'm really proud of him. I'm proud of the way he performed and the way (trainer) Phil (D'Amato) has kept him at the highest level. 

"There are a lot of options coming up. A race like the Met Mile has been talked about. The goal is that grade 1 on dirt. We have to figure out how to get that. Shaman Ghost ripped our hearts out."

Bred by Alex Venneri and Marjorie Post Dye, Midnight Storm has won 10 of his 22 starts—seven of those wins coming on turf—and has earnings of $1,606,110.