The race offers 50-20-10-5 Road to the Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers. That 50-point bonanza to the winner means whoever crosses the wire first is virtually guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky […]
'Hawks Coach has a Derby Possibility
A three-year-old colt with Illinois connections has put his name into contention to earn a starting spot in the 2014 Kentucky Derby with a win in the Derby points’ series. […]
A three-year-old colt with Illinois connections has put his name into contention to earn a starting spot in the 2014 Kentucky Derby with a win in the Derby points’ series. On Saturday at Santa Anita it was Midnight Hawk first to the wire in the $100,000 Grade III Sham Stakes. The Sham is an official part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby, and with the win the son of Midnight Lute picks up 10 points. With the Derby limited to 20 starters, if there are more entries than that, the starters will be decided based on points accumulated by eligible horses.
Sham turns into a match race early
Breaking quickly from the gate in the Sham was the 2-1 second choice at the betting window, Kristo (the field was reduced to four after two scratched out), with the 2-5 favorite Midnight Hawk being roused forward by veteran jockey Mike Smith to take up a position just to that one’s inside. Together the two set quick fractions to the half-mile point of the one-mile race, with 10-1 Ontology and 13-1 I’ll Wrap It Up settled two lengths in behind. Although game throughout, the race essentially turned into the match race between the top two.
Quenneville, Kitchen and Tice part owners
As they turned for home Midnight Hawk hit his best stride, and began to open up. Ontology kept plugging away, but couldn’t run down the top two, while I’ll Wrap It Up faded. By the sixteenth pole it was Midnight Hawk’s race to win, and although he drifted in, he held on to prevail by 1 3/4 lengths. He’s now two-for–two lifetime after breaking his maiden by more than six lengths. Trained by Bob Baffert, Midnight Hawk is partly owned by Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, assistant coach Mike Kitchen, and former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice.
The field is set for the 2019 Preakness Stakes, and looking at the 13 rivals on paper is enough to make any serious handicapper's mouth water. There's simply a ton of betting value here.
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