Midnight Bourbon's front-running score in Saturday's $200,000 LeComte S. (G3) at Fair Grounds put the 3-year-old Tiznow colt on the road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) and earned him 10 points toward a spot in the starting gate in the Run for the Roses.
Away from the races since finishing third in the Champagne S. (G1) three months ago, Midnight Bourbon sped to the front right out of the gate and was never headed. He was up by nearly two lengths at the midway point and got a serious challenge from Proxy and Mandaloun on the final turn, but he repelled both to win by a length in 1:44.41 on a fast track.
"Obviously he'd run some solid races, but we were very much looking forward to getting him into two-turn races," trainer Asmussen said. "(Given) his pedigree, we think that going further will help him. He's got a beautiful stride to him. He was away nice and cleanly; Joe (Talamo) gave him a nice trip. I think he's going to develop into an excellent 3-year-old."
Midnight Bourbon sold for $525,000 to owner Winchell Thoroughbreds at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling sale. He was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and is out of the top-class producer Catch the Moon, also the dam of graded stakes winners Girvin, Cocked and Loaded, and Pirate's Punch.
"Absolutely," the trainer said when asked about running in the Feb. 13 Risen Star S. (G2). "We were very excited to get him down here and get him into this series. With him being capable of what he is away from there and the ground that he covers, I think it's a natural fit."
Midnight Bourbon's record now stands at 2-1-2 from five starts, with earnings of $221,420.