Midnight Miley, piloted for the first time by Jesse Campbell, held off the rallying Don’t Leave Me to win Sunday’s co-featured $129,750 La Lorgnette Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Julia Carey for Little Red Feather Racing, the bay daughter of Midnight Lute arrived at the 1 1/16-mile ‘Poly’ route for three-year-old fillies from an even fifth-place run in a turf allowance on August 22.
Tippany led the seven-horse La Lorgnette field into the first turn through a moderate opening quarter of :25.02 with Classyshadesofgrey and Midnight Miley chasing her early foot. Don’t Leave Me, the 3-5 mutuel favourite under Eurico Rosa da Silva, was last to the turn but improved up the rail to be third as Tippany took the field through a half-mile in :49.81.
Midnight Miley, confidently handled by Campbell, bid through the final turn along with Classyshadesofgrey, putting away that rival with a furlong to run and stayed strong to the wire for a head score over a charging Don’t Leave Me. Dyna’s Recoleta landed in third position, while Classyshadesofgrey and the late-running Shesanaturalblonde dead-heated for fourth. Midnight Miley covered 1 1/16-miles in 1:44.96.
Keeping Midnight Miley calm through the pre-race proceedings was paramount to victory.
“She (Carey) said to take her from the post parade and keep her with the pony but away from the other horses. Just try and keep her calm,” said Campbell.
A patient trip engineered by the new rider was also a key factor to the upset.
“She was a little aggressive going into the first turn, but she settled pretty good for me,” said Campbell. “We were going pretty slow, she was in my hands, but I was impressed with the way she fought down the lane. She really fought hard.”
Midnight Miley, bred in Kentucky by Mark Secrest, banked $75,000 in victory while improving her record to 3-1-0 from 10 career starts.
She paid $48.90, $10.50 and $6.90, combining with Don’t Leave Me ($2.30, $2.10) for an $86.90 (4-1) exactor. A 4-1-5 triactor (Dyna’s Recoleta, $4.30 to show) was worth $493.40.