Report: Midnight Bourbon, sixth in last year's Kentucky Derby, dies at Churchill Downs

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Kentucky Derby entrant Midnight Bourbon gallops in the morning at Churchill Downs.  Midnight Bourbon is trained by Steve Asmussen. April 29, 2020
Kentucky Derby entrant Midnight Bourbon gallops in the morning at Churchill Downs. Midnight Bourbon is trained by Steve Asmussen. April 29, 2020

Midnight Bourbon, who finished sixth in last year’s Kentucky Derby, died Sunday in his stall at Churchill Downs, the Daily Racing Form reported Wednesday.

According to the report, Midnight Bourbon died after what trainer Steve Asmussen called “an acute gastrointestinal situation.”

“It’s a devastating situation to the whole barn and everyone who was involved with him,” Asmussen told the Daily Racing Form. “He’s an irreplaceable horse, in more ways than one. It’s beyond sad.”

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Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, the 4-year-old Midnight Bourbon was 2-6-5 in 16 career starts and earned $3,557,970. The son of Tiznow was purchased for $525,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Midnight Bourbon went off at 13-1 odds in the 2021 Kentucky Derby and finished sixth. He went on to finish second behind Rombauer in the Preakness and closed his 3-year-old campaign with a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Clark at Churchill.

As a 4-year-old, Midnight Bourbon was 0-1-1 in three starts, most recently finishing fifth in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup on March 26 at Meydan.

He breezed Sunday morning at Churchill Downs – five furlongs in 1:01.20 – before becoming ill, Asmussen said.

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Asmussen told the Daily Racing Form that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory are investigating the particulars of the death.

Jason Frakes: 502-582-4046; jfrakes@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @KentuckyDerbyCJ.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Report: Midnight Bourbon horse, 6th in 2021 Kentucky Derby, dies