Midnight Hawk tops seven-horse Lewis field
|Midnight Hawk is the top draw in Saturday's Lewis
Unbeaten Midnight Hawk will put his perfect mark on the line Saturday when
taking on six rivals in the Grade 2, $200,000
Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita Park. The 1 1/16-mile race is worth 10 points
to the winner toward a berth in the Kentucky Derby starting gate, but before
that it is a steppingstone to the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April
Trainer Bob Baffert will saddle Midnight Hawk for his third career start
after sending the gray son of Midnight Lute out for easy wins in his prior pair.
The sophomore romped by 6 1/5 lengths in his December 13 debut at Hollywood Park
before trying a mile in the January 11 Sham and emerging a 1 3/4-length victor.
Since then, Midnight Hawk has recorded a trio of works over Santa Anita's
main track, most recently clocking five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 on February 2. Mike
Smith has been in the irons for each of the colt's prior runs and retains the
mount on Saturday.
Candy Boy didn't get as good of a start to his career as Midnight Hawk. The
John Sadler pupil dropped his initial three efforts at Del Mar and Santa Anita
before breaking through with a 8 1/4-length score November 22 at Hollywood Park.
The Candy Ride bay closed out his juvenile campaign in the CashCall Futurity on
December 14, finishing a well-beaten second when 5 3/4 lengths behind eventual
two-year-old champion Shared Belief.
Candy Boy won't face that talented colt this time around but will keep jockey
Gary Stevens aboard in his second try for a graded victory.
Diamond Bachelor is the only other entrant in the field with prior stakes
experience. The War Front colt captured the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf last
September at Del Mar then placed second in the Zuma Beach on Santa Anita's
green. The Patrick Biancone trainee tried dirt for the first time in the
Breeders' Cup Juvenile last out, but could only manage a ninth-placed finish on
that occasion. Julien Leparoux has the call as Diamond Bachelor tries the main
Chitu, Cool Samurai, El Nino Terrible and Home Run Kitten are all taking on
stakes company for the first time. Chitu is undefeated in two starts following a
1 1/4-length maiden win at Del Mar and an optional claiming victory at Santa
Anita, both in December. Cool Samurai broke his maiden for trainer John
Shirreffs on December 27 in his second outing, while El Nino Terrible graduated
a winner on January 17 in his second U.S. start for conditioner Peter Miller.
Home Run Kitten broke his maiden sprinting over Santa Anita's turf on January
11, but has posted a pair of decent works on the main track since then.
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