Midnight Interlude

Just like his sire, War Chant, Midnight Interlude would run in the Kentucky Derby. And like his father, he would not win the Run for the Roses, but was still destined to be a Grade I winner.

Unraced at two, Midnight Interlude did not start for Bob Baffert's barn until January of 2011. Based at Santa Anita for the winter and spring, the bay colt who counted Bold Ruler, Northern Dancer, Raise a Native and Secretariat among his ancestors improved with every start, going from third to second to first in as many races. He broke his maiden going a mile on an off track, and he made a gigantic leap in class by going from maiden winner to Grade I competitor in the 2011 Santa Anita Derby.

Over a decade earlier, War Chant had charted a similar course as a three-year-old. He spent the winter of 2000 at Santa Anita, winning both starts in Arcadia before finishing second in the Santa Anita Derby. Midnight Interlude did one better, giving his dad the win he never got in the West Coast's biggest Kentucky Derby prep race. Never afraid to be close to the front or battle, Midnight Interlude fought through a wide trip in the stretch to prevail in a great finish over Comma to the Top to capture the prestigious Grade I.

When War Chant raced in the Kentucky Derby, an off the board finish awaited him at the wire. That same result greeted Midnight Interlude, who came in sixteenth after never challenging for the lead. He did not fare much better in the Preakness, a race War Chant never contested. Much closer to the leader at Pimlico, Midnight Interlude eventually faded to thirteenth by race's end. He put a stop to the winless streak soon after, though, coming through in another game finish in the Hollywood Park's Tsunami Slew Stakes in his turf debut. It was a good rebound following the Derby and Preakness, and Midnight Interlude matched his sire in being able to handle the green. At the close of his career, War Chant took the Grade II Oak Tree Mile and Grade I Breeders' Cup Mile, and that grass pedigree subsequently showed up in his son.

Midnight Interlude raced only on turf for the remainder of 2011, but another win eluded him. Still, he did not run badly. He was blocked late in the Grade II La Jolla Handicap, coming in fourth, but nearly won the Grade II Del Mar Derby before losing by a head bob. As for the Oak Tree Derby, he came close to finishing in the top three, but was overtaken in the final jumps.

Midnight Interlude raced again as an older horse, but the campaign did not yield any success. He didn't lose by much in his four-year-old debut, the Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar (again on turf), but was nowhere near contention for the win in either of his last two starts. Last competing in Santa Anita's Grade II Arroyo Seco Mile, Midnight Interlude left the races with a record of three wins, two seconds and a third in thirteen starts carrying the silks of Arnold Zetcher.

In 2013, Midnight Interlude was purchased by Nanoli Stud, which meant he would go to India for stallion duty. He is still in the country as of 2020, and has sired a Group II winner in Oomph, who captured the 2018 Bangalore 1000 Guineas. Still in the early years of his stud career, he might produce more winners at the top levels of racing.

It is certainly not uncommon for a graded stakes winner to become a talented sire. Midnight Interlude may not have won many races, but he can be called a Grade I champion, and he was the top three year old in Southern California racing in the spring of 2011.


Midnight Interlude was purchased. Crosby, Claire. "Midnight Interlude to Stand in India." Bloodhorse.com, February 15, 2013. https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/123051/midnight-interlude-to-stand-in-india

Entry added October 1, 2020. AF