From sullen teenager to the Kentucky Oaks: Stepwise Farm’s New York-bred Midnight Disguise

On a cold March afternoon, Joan Taylor and Bill Wilmot stood in the paddock at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York. They’d traveled nearly four hours from their farm in Saratoga Springs to watch Holiday Disguise, the 4-year-old filly they’d bred and sold as a weanling, run in the Heavenly Prize Stakes and try to get her fourth win in a row.

Holiday Disguise had to settle for second that day, bringing her record for owner Lady Sheila Stables to 6-4-1-0 and increasing her earnings to nearly $240,000.

It was the second straight weekend at Aqueduct for Wilmot and Taylor. The prior Saturday, March 3, they’d watched as Midnight Disguise, a homebred half-sister to Holiday Disguise, won her second consecutive race in the listed Busher, an official points race for the Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 5. The 50 points Midnight Disguise earned ensures the New York-bred a spot in the starting gate for the prestigious Oaks.

Trevor McCarthy guides Midnight Disguise to victory in the Busher. NYRA/Chelsea Durand photo

Continue reading at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary

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