EMPTY CHURCHILL DOWNS - VIRUS PANDEMIC - 4-29-2020  - FINISH LINE 1.jpg

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- She is among the best thoroughbreds in the United States, but there was just a hint of a question over how champion mare Midnight Bisou would fare coming off a four-month layoff after a second-place finish to Maximum Security in the Saudi Cup back in February.

The 5-year-old future Hall of Famer answered those questions turning for home, when she engulfed the field after laying back early, then breezed down the stretch to an 8 1/4-length victory over a field of six, including 2019 Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress, in the Grade 2, $200 Fleur de Lis Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

Her trainer, Steve Asmussen, spoke of her in lofty terms, telling NBC's Donna Brothers: "How blessed we are to be in her presence."

She boosted her career earnings above $7.3 million in earning her 13th career graded stakes entry. (Her earnings in Saudia Arabia have been held up as racing officials investigate doping allegations against Maximum Security trainer Jason Servis.) The victory punched her ticket for the Breeders' Cup Distaff this fall, unless her connections decide to send her to the Classic instead.

As expected, Serengeti Empress dashed to the lead and was clear through six furlongs, but she had little to offer when Midnight Bisou made her move and wound up finishing fourth.

Motion Emotion held on for second and Another Broad was third. Both went off as longshots. Midnight Bisou paid $3 to win and finished the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.99.

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