Pioneerof the Nile's top turf star Midnight Storm scored his third consecutive stakes victory on Sunday with a game half-length tally in the $200,000 Del Mar Mile H. (G2) to become racing's newest millionaire
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With just a field of five, Rafael Bejarano sent Midnight Storm straight to the front, zipping through a half-mile in :46.66 and six furlongs in 1:10.64. Om, a multiple graded stakes winner in his own right, made a run at Midnight Storm, but the dark bay 5-year-old held on to get the victory in 1:33.92.
"I felt like he had it under control the whole way, but I was kind of surprised to see that big kick Om had in the stretch and it got pretty close for a while," Midnight Storm's trainer Phil D'Amato said.
Winner of the Shoemaker Mile (G1) and Eddie Read S. (G2) in his previous two starts, Midnight Storm is now 8-3-0 in 18 starts and has earned $1,1010,110. The Kentucky-bred is owned by A. Venneri Racing and Little Red Feather Racing.
Sire of eight stakes winners in 2016, Pioneerof the Nile got a daily double at Del Mar when Irish Storm also won, taking his maiden special weight debut for trainer Bob Baffert. The colt was a $285,000 purchase by Jerry Crawford at the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling sale.