News and STORIES

Midnight Bisou Set to Attempt Repeat in Personal Ensign

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Thursday July 30, 2020

Midnight Bisou will be looking to repeat in the Saturday, $500,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, going up against five competitors. 

She will be looking to make it as exciting as last year’s edition of the race when she and Elate sped ahead of the field to fight it out to the wire.

Reigning Champion Older Dirt Female

Midnight Bisou is the reigning champion older dirt female, and she is looking for her 14th graded stakes victory. If she wins, the daughter of Midnight Lute will be just the second horse to win back-to-back editions of the Personal Ensign. Beautiful Pleasure did just that in 1999 and 2000 for owners John Oxley and trainer John Ward.

There is a good chance that Midnight Bisou joins Beautiful Pleasure’s company, especially since all five of her grade 1 victories have taken place at different tracks across the United States. 

Jeff Bloom owns midnight Bisou in partnership with Madaket Stable and Allen Racing.

"It would be awesome," said Bloom. "Anytime you run in those type of races, they're big, regardless of what you've done in the past. She's training better than ever, and we're ready for it."

Lead Up

Midnight Bisou has been continuously training at Saratoga since mid-July for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. She has logged three timed works on the surface, with the most recent being a four-furlong breeze in 50.55 on the Oklahoma training track.

"At the end of the day, I think she probably likes certain tracks more than others," Bloom said. 

"She's a huge fan of Belmont, but she's run well over any surface and any environment. Once you give her the chance to see what's going on around her, she's OK. With the changes they made at Saratoga this past season, she's training even better over there. She has a great feel for the track from what I've seen."

Midnight Bisou has two 2020 starts, including a second-place effort in the inaugural Saudi Cup Feb. 29 at King Abdulaziz Racetrack. She then went on to score the June 27 Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. 

She will break from post three under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.

Point of Honor and Others

The 4-year-old Point of Honor will look to outrun her rival and take her first win of the year. The daughter of Curlin is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Stetson Racing.

Her last win came in May 2019 in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico Race Course. She then went on to finish second in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Alabama Stakes (G1) before receiving a freshening.

George Weaver trains point of Honor and she finished second in her March 7 handicap debut at Tampa Bay Downs. She took third in the April 18 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park and is coming off a second-place effort in the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 13. 

Point of Honor will break under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano from post 6. 

Another runner coming into the event is Calumet Farm’s Vexatious, who is coming off a second-place finish in the July 11 Ruffian Stakes (G2) at Belmont. Trained by Jack Sisterton, she took her first graded win in 2018 at 4 when she scored the Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.

Vexatious will break from post four under Jose Lezcano.

Other entries for the event include Abounding Joy, Motion Emotion, and Bossy Bride.