Midnight Disguise returns to action in Sunday’s Biogio’s Rose
by Brian Bohl
Midnight Disguise will make her first start in more than nine months when she returns to action as one of eight New York-bred fillies and mares 4-years-old and up in the fourth running of the $100,000 Biogio's Rose on Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Owned by William Wilmot, Joan Taylor and Devin Wilmot, Midnight Disguise was a three-time stakes winner in her 3-year-old 2018 campaign, including a 2 ¾-length win in her last start in the Bouwerie on May 28 at Belmont. But the Midnight Lute filly suffered a soft tissue injury to her left foreleg after improving her career record to 5-1-0 in seven starts.
After a long layoff, trainer Linda Rice said Midnight Disguise looks ready to return to competition after breezing three times on the Belmont Park training track since January, including a five-furlong work in 1:03.55 on January 25.
"She's been training well and looks terrific," Rice said. "She's a 4-year-old now and she's filled out that big frame. We're happy to have her back. Her works have been coming along nicely and we're ready to get her started."
Last year at Aqueduct, Midnight Disguise won both the Busanda at 1 1/8 miles and the Busher at the Biogio's Rose's distance of one mile.
"At this point, we need a race," said Rice, who won last year's Biogio's Rose with Midnight Disguise's half-sister Holiday Disguise. "I was trying to make the La Verdad because I wanted to start her back at seven-eighths because I thought she could really close in to the distance, but we just weren't able to make that race as far as timing."
Jockey Manny Franco, the meet's leading rider, will have the call from post 3.
Midnight Disguise's stablemate, Split Time, will be looking for her second consecutive stakes win after rallying from seventh to win the Bay Ridge by 1 ¼ lengths on December 30 at the Big A. Owned by Tic Stables, Split Time tied a personal-best with an 81 Beyer last out at 1 1/8 miles.
Split Time, 6-2-2 in 11 career starts, has four wins and a runner-up effort in five career starts at Aqueduct. She is also 3-for-3 in one-mile races, including a victory in the Maddie May in March at the Big A.
"She's coming off a great year where she won six races and four stakes, so she's really in top form right now," Rice said. "She's been successful at a mile; she's never lost there, so it's a good distance for her as well."
Junior Alvarado will ride from post 2.
No Hayne No Gayne will return to stakes company after a 7 ¾-length win against optional claimers on January 25 at Aqueduct. The trainee of Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen was second to Split Time in the Bay Ridge, which was her first stakes appearance in five starts.
Co-owned by Toby Sheets, an assistant to Asmussen, as well as ZBS Thoroughbreds and Paradise Farms, No Hayne No Gayne will have the services of jockey Reylu Gutierrez from post 8.
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez will also saddle a pair of contenders in Frosty Margarita and Frostie Anne.
Gabrielle Farm's Frosty Margarita will make the last start of her career before becoming a broodmare, Rodriguez said. Making her 36th and final career start, the 6-year-old Frost Giant mare is the field's most experienced entrant. Ruben Silvera will be in the irons from post 6.
"Hopefully, we can retire her as a winner," Rodriguez said. "She trains good in the morning, but she hasn't been putting what she does in the morning to the afternoons [races]."
Frostie Anne, owned by Rodriguez and Michael Imperio, was fifth last out in the Bay Ridge and will be cutting back in distance. Since 2018, the daughter of Frost Giant has finished off the board just twice in 12 starts. As a 5-year-old, she won the Saratoga Dew in August at the Spa and was third in the NYSS Staten Island on November 11 at Aqueduct. She will make her 6-year-old debut in tandem with jockey Hector Diaz, Jr. from the inside post.
"She's training good too, but it's a tough race," Rodriguez said. "She looks like she's coming into the race good. We're trying just like everybody else to start the year off right."
Bonita Bianca won two stakes last year for trainer Jason Servis and will look to rebound off back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the Grade 3 Go For Wand on December 1 and the Bay Ridge on December 30.
Owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and Imperio, Bonita Bianca brings a 7-1-2 career record in 16 starts into her 2019 bow. The Curlin mare will have Jose Lezcano in the irons from post 5.
Rounding out the field is Unbridledadventure, third in the Bay Ridge for trainer Bruce Levine, from post 4; and Playinwiththeboys, trained by Charlton Baker, from post 7.
First post time for Sunday's eight-race card at Aqueduct is 12:50 p.m.