NY’s Midnight Stroll Favored in 14-Horse Bessarabian

New York-based Midnight Stroll , a graded stakes-winning Not This Time   filly, is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the Nov. 11 Bessarabian Stakes (G2) for fillies and mares sprinting seven furlongs at Woodbine.

Trained by John Terranova, the 4-year-old Midnight Stroll was last seen finishing a close second in the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (G2), one of the fall’s top sprints for females. It was her first try on a synthetic surface. Last year Midnight Stroll won the Delaware Oaks (G3) going two turns, and finished sixth in the Royal Delta Stakes (G3) at the same 1 1/16-mile distance, before settling on sprinting as her preferred game.

A full field of 14 will try the one-turn Bessarabian, which starts out of a chute with a long backstretch run. 

The 7-2 second choice, Loyalty , was fourth behind Midnight Stroll at Presque Isle Downs but is locally based and has the advantage of running out of her own stall. The 4-year-old Hard Spun   filly won the Hendrie Stakes (G3) in July over this Tapeta surface and is 5-0-2 in eight starts at Woodbine. 

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Loyalty is one of several starters exiting the Ontario Fashion Stakes (G3), the prior race in Woodbine’s stakes series for female sprinters. Spun Glass  was the 27-1 winner of that one but won’t take anyone by surprise in the Bessarabian between that effort and a solid local breeze Nov. 2 for Mid-Atlantic trainer Michael Trombetta. 

Awesome Treat  was second in the Ontario Fashion at an even bigger price than the winner (38-1) over the track where she has notched both of her career wins. 

Most puzzling is the presence of Miss Dracarys , whose successful 14-race career has been entirely on turf and mostly going long. In her last two wins she outran the reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Moira  and subsequent Ballston Spa (G2T) heroine Evvie Jets . Last time out she set the pace in the nine-furlong Canadian Stakes (G2T) but faded to sixth. 

What they Said

Steve Attard on Awesome Treat’s effort in the Ontario Fashion: “She is a very nice mare. She never seems to surprise me. Just how she is and how she trains, you know what you are going to get from her. I wasn’t surprised at all with that effort last time. That’s her, a hard-trying mare, who always shows up. Six furlongs might be a bit short for her, but Emma (Wilson, jockey) gave her an incredible ride and they came flying in the stretch.”

Maple Leaf Stakes

Earlier on Saturday’s card, 13 fillies and mares, 3 and up, will travel 1 1/4 miles on the Tapeta in the Maple Leaf Stakes (G3).

The field includes multiple graded stakes winner Il Malocchio , who won last year’s edition, graded stakes winners Millie Girl  and Solo Album , multiple graded stakes-placed Angelou , and multiple stakes-placed Ever Smart .

Entries: Bessarabian S. (G2)

Woodbine, Saturday, November 11, 2023, Race 9

  • Grade II
  • 7f
  • All Weather Track
  • $175,000
  • 3 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:12 PM (local)

Entries: Maple Leaf S. (G3)

Woodbine, Saturday, November 11, 2023, Race 7

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/4m
  • All Weather Track
  • $150,000
  • 3 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
  • 4:03 PM (local)