Midnight Disguise wins the Busanda at Aqueduct

Midnight Disguise wins the Busanda at Aqueduct

Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand

Midnight Disguise to Defend Home Turf in Busher

New York-bred Midnight Disguise faces seven sophomore fillies in March 3 Busher.

The Busher Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct Racetrack March 3, may not be a graded stakes, but it offers a sizable $200,000 purse and the winner scores 50 points toward the May 4 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Drawing a field of eight, the one-turn mile has plenty of intrigue, from a speedy shipper from California to a recent maiden winner from Ohio's Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course to a graded stakes-placed runner from South Florida. As well, a Nor'easter is slated to hit the Long Island area March 2 but clear out by race morning.

Defending the home turf is the New York-bred Midnight Disguise, who has made all four starts at the Big A, winning three. Drs. William Wilmot and Joan Taylor's homebred daughter of Midnight Lute  was a handy winner of the nine-furlong Busanda Stakes Jan. 25.

"(Trainer) Linda (Rice) doesn't work her a lot," Wilmot said of Midnight Disguise. "Winter training in New York is different than, say, Gulfstream. You have to have a feel for it, and Linda is the queen of Aqueduct."

Rice is second in the standings by wins (23-18) to Rudy Rodriguez.

Midnight Disguise is a sizable foe—17.2 hands—and has surprised the owners.

"She ran for $50,000 first time out (and won by 6 1/2 lengths) and seems to enjoy what she's doing," Wilmot said. "When she's racing, and Joan pointed this out, she looks at the other fillies—and then passes them."

She passed them all in the Busanda, moving from last early to win by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:55.81. She earned a second-best, last-out Equibase Speed Figure of 83.

"The main-track times are a lot slower than they were last year on the inner track," Wilmot said of the track's new dirt layout this season. "You can't look at the times; they don't mean anything."

The speed in the race appears to be in the form of Gary Barber's War Heroine, a daughter of Lonhro—War Tigress, by War Chant. A maiden winner first time out at Del Mar in November, the Peter Miller-trained War Heroine was sixth facing graded company in the Jan. 7 Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park but rebounded to earn a 97 ESF in a half-length score going down the hill on the turf in the Sweetest Life Stakes Feb. 11.

Junior Alvarado, third in the local standings, has the call on the cross-country shipper.

Jerry Jamgotchian's Youvegottopaytopla, by Giant's Causeway , was an easy winner first time out at Mahoning Valley Feb. 5, scoring by 4 1/4 lengths in a six-furlong maiden special weight. Trainer Eric Reed brings rider Edgar Paucar along with him for the Busher. She's the third foal out of the stakes-placed Distorted Humor  mare Divalarious.

Drawing the outside post is Courtlandt Farms' My Miss Lilly, who returns to New York with trainer Mark Hennig off a third-place effort Feb. 3 in Gulfstream Park's seven-furlong Forward Gal Stakes (G3). A $670,000 Keeneland September sale yearling, she's a daughter of Tapit  out of stakes winner Wicked Deed, by Harlan's Holiday. She was a sharp 2 1/2-length maiden winner going six furlongs in the slop at Aqueduct in her Dec. 23 debut.

Conrad Farms' Shamrock Rose, second to Wonder Gadot in October on Woodbine's synthetic, makes her first start since Oct. 29 in the Busher. She brings a steady string of works over the Belmont training track to her 3-year-old bow.

Entries: Busher S.

Aqueduct Racetrack, Saturday, March 03, 2018, Race 8

  • STK
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 4:56 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Sara Street (KY)Dylan Davis116Kiaran P. McLaughlin9/2
22War Heroine (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJunior Alvarado120Peter Miller5/2
33Midnight Disguise (NY)Trevor McCarthy122Linda Rice3/1
44Youvegottopaytopla (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEdgar Paucar116Eric R. Reed30/1
55Blue Union Rags (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKendrick Carmouche116John C. Servis20/1
66Gypsy Janie (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAngel S. Arroyo116Patrick J. Quick8/1
77Shamrock Rose (PA)Martin Garcia120Mark E. Casse6/1
88My Miss Lilly (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateManuel Franco116Mark A. Hennig7/2