Pioneerof the Nile got his second graded stakes winner of the day at Del Mar when Midnight Storm sped to a front-running victory in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby (G2), with Sawyer’s Hill, by Spring At Last, securing the runner-up spot in the 1 1/8-mile turf contest.
Both 3-year-olds earned the first black-type of their career, and in Midnight Storm’s case, it was his stakes debut.
Pioneerof the Nile notched his first graded stakes winner of the day when Jojo Warrior won the Grade 3 Torrey Pines S. earlier on Sunday’s card at Del Mar. The sophomore sire is a clear-cut leader of the Second Crop sires with some $2.7 million in progeny earnings and five two-turn graded stakes winners.
Midnight Storm, who is now two-for-two on the turf, played “come and get me” with the Derby field, setting sensible fractions. After getting the six furlongs in 1:12.50, Tyler Baze had plenty of horse left for the stretch run, with only Sawyer’s Hill getting somewhat close. The final time over the firm turf was 1:47.47.
Owned by his breeders Alex Venneri & Marjorie Post Dye, Midnight Storm improved his record to 3-2-0 from just seven starts. Bred in Kentucky, the colt is one of five winners out of My Tina, a half-sister to stakes winner Ask Shananie and Valid Direction.