Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

PDF Download Past Performances
Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
Mar 23 2014 Sunland Derby Sunland Park III 1 1/8 Miles 2 REPLAY
Mar 23 2014 Sunland Derby Sunland Park III 1 1/8 Miles 2 REPLAY
Mar 8 2014 San Felipe Santa Anita Park II 1 1/16 Miles 2 REPLAY
Feb 8 2014 Robert B. Lewis Santa Anita Park II 1 1/16 Miles 3 REPLAY
Jan 11 2014 Sham Santa Anita Park III 1 Mile 1 REPLAY

Connections

Bob Baffert

Trainer

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert won the Kentucky Derby back-to-back in 1997 and 1998 with Silver Charm and Real Quiet and again in 2002 with War Emblem. He has saddled 19 horses in the Run for the Roses. He has won the Preakness stakes a record tying five times and has won the Eclipse Award for top trainer three times. Baffert has saddled two Kentucky Oaks winners, Silverbulletday and Plum Pretty.

Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. (John Sikura), Mike Kitchen, Mike Pegram, Mike Tice & Joel Quenneville

Owner

Mike Pegram,owner of previous Kentucky Derby winner Real Quite has partnered with Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville, Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Kitchen, former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator and current Altanta Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice, and John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings.

Pedigree

Midnight Hawk's pedigree does not offer solid encouragement for his ability to handle 1 1/4 miles. Yet a case can be made that there's more than meets the eye.

His Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert, conditioned both of his parents, Midnight Lute and Miss Wineshine.

Midnight Lute ended up being a champion sprinter, but Baffert always thought that he was much more. Baffert pegged the son of Triple Crown near-misser Real Quiet as a potential Derby horse, and later, mentioned such prestigious 1 1/4-mile races as the Breeders' Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup as potential targets. But Midnight Lute kept suffering from various setbacks that limited his number, and types, of starts. Baffert nursed him through to back-to-back victories in the Breeders' Cup Sprint while hailing him as "the perfect Thoroughbred," and the best horse he'd ever trained.

Given that background, it wouldn't be a surprise if Midnight Lute passed on his raw talent, and something of Real Quiet's stamina, to progeny who might not have the physical issues that compromised his own career.

As if to substantiate that hypothesis, Midnight Lute sired a Queen's Plate winner in his very first crop, Midnight Aria. Another son, Mylute, was a close runner-up in the Louisiana Derby and third in the Preakness.

His other 2013 headliners included Govenor Charlie, track record-setting winner of the Sunland Derby; Midnight Lucky, who also crushed the track record in the Sunland Park Oaks before romping in the Acorn; and Malibu winner Shakin It Up, who recently defeated his close relative Govenor Charlie in the Strub.

Midnight Hawk is out of Miss Wineshine, who raced only during the summer of her juvenile season and never had an opportunity to stretch out. As a full sister to multiple stakes-winning sprinter Delta Wolf, however, she had bags of speed. Miss Wineshine wired the six-furlong Silver Spur at Lone Star in a quick 1:08 3/5, missed by a head in the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack, and faded to third after arguing a fast pace in the seven-furlong Spinaway. Her brief resume also includes a distant second to stablemate Chilukki in the Debutante at Churchill, where she interestingly rallied from off the pace, hinting that she was no one-dimensional dragster.

Retired after just five starts, Miss Wineshine has produced five winners. Her only other stakes performer, Mayor Marv, won the 2009 Turf Paradise Derby.

Miss Wineshine is by one of South Africa's all-time greats, Wolf Power. Although best remembered for his exploits as a miler, Wolf Power nevertheless landed the coveted J&B Met at 1 1/4 miles.

Wolf Power's best offspring tended to be fillies, such as Grade 1 diva Freedom Cry, so it's not a huge surprise that he has had more enduring results as a broodmare sire.

Wolf Power mares have produced current superstar Wise Dan, honored as U.S. Horse of the Year, champion older male and champion turf male for two consecutive years; two-time Santa Anita Handicap hero Milwaukee Brew; reigning Kennedy Road winner Bear No Joke; talented sprinter Sailors Sunset; and Steppenwolfer, third in the 2006 Kentucky Derby.

Miss Wineshine's pedigree sports three crosses of redoubtable stamina influence *Princequillo. 

Midnight Hawk's second dam is by Cormorant (sire of 1994 Derby winner Go for Gin) and out of a mare by Sunrise Flight. That pattern echoes the cross in the pedigree of 1981 Derby and Preakness hero Pleasant Colony.

The maternal line traces to *Marguerite de Valois, a full sister to influential sires *Sir Gallahad III and *Bull Dog.

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