Midnight Stroll looking for more in G3 CT Oaks

Edited press release

Gatsas Stables, R.A. Hill and Steven Schoenfeld’s Delaware Oaks (G3) winner Midnight Stroll looks to make it back-to-back scores in graded stakes company as she takes on eight others in the $500,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) Friday night as part of the track’s Charles Town Classic card.

The two graded stakes on the program, the Grade 2 Classic and Grade 3 Oaks, are joined by a trio of other stakes each worth $250,000 and a pair of $75,000 restricted stakes on a card that gets underway at 5:00 P.M. EST.  The night also offers horseplayers a $100,000 guaranteed Pick 5 that kicks off in Race 9, a $100,000 guaranteed Pick 4 that starts with Race 10, and a mandatory distribution of the Charles Town 6-12 carryover that currently sits at $23,527.

A Florida-bred daughter of Not This Time, Midnight Stroll comes to Charles Town having won three of her last four outings, including the Delaware Oaks and the restricted Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies Stakes at Tampa.

The only recent blemish on her record is a ninth-place effort at 1 1/8 miles in the Black Eyed Susan (G2). She took the worst of the trip that day, made a middle move, and then tired.

Trained by John Terranova, Midnight Stroll has won both on and off the early pace, which is a quality her trainer thinks suits her well in the Charles Town Oaks. 

“I think she’s versatile. She’s a real classy filly, and that’s a great attribute about her,” he said. “You know, she’s proven going seven furlongs, she’s proven at the two-turns. She’s very handy. Very tactical. And she’s doing very well at Saratoga.”

Eric Cancel retains the mount. Cancel gave Midnight Stroll a close to ideal trip in the Delaware Oaks, stalking the pace before taking over and holding off Shotgun Hottie to win.

“Eric rode her for the first time last time and he seemed to figure her out pretty well, and he’s worked her since,” Terranova said. “She’s a smart filly. She’ll put herself in the game if she wants to. One thing that I’ve definitely seen is that she runs well on the turns, which I think is going to be big at Charles Town.” 

Midnight Stroll
It was a fighting finish as Midnight Stroll held off Shotgun Hottie to win the G3 Delaware Oaks. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Since the Delaware Oaks July 2, Midnight Stroll has posted five recorded works at Saratoga. Most recently she loped an easy half-mile August 20 in 50 3/5 seconds.

Midnight Stroll has won three of six career outings, while earning nearly $240,000. She is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line.

The lukewarm favorite, at 3-1, is Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds’ homebred Society. She will get some class relief in the Charles Town Oaks as she searches for the first graded stakes win of her career.  

After a slow break from the gate in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), the daughter of Gun Runner rushed up to chase divisional heavy heads Nest and Secret Oath before fading to fourth.  Without any Nests or Secret Oaths in the Charles Town Oaks, her trainer Steve Asmussen sends his filly to West Virginia in hopes of securing his third score in the race, having won the inaugural edition with Four Gifts back in 2009 and in 2021 with Pauline’s Pearl. 

Society has won three of four in her career, including a score in the Monomoy Girl Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs June 18. Tyler Gaffalione, who rode Society in both the Coaching Club American Oaks and in her win in the Monomoy Girl at Churchill Downs has the call once again in the Charles Town Oaks.