That old fox Bob Baffert is surely up to something here at Hawthorne this Saturday, as he is rolling out a sure-fire Kentucky Derby starter in Midnight Hawk , for a run in the $500,000, GIII Illinois Derby for 3yo’s, going 1 1/8 mile out on the Hawthorne main track.
One of three things is going on here, either Sir Robert is bringing this 3yo, GIII Sham Stakes winner out for a test run / tune up for the GI Kentucky Derby in 2 weeks (not very likely) or a prep for the GI Preakness Stakes next month or Midnight Hawk , at 4/5 here on Saturday, is about to get the Prayer for Relief/Departing 3yo mid-course, career path change where he’ll be run, probably as the favorite, in all the 2nd level derby races this season, like the West Virginia, Indiana and Super Derbys’ etc, etc. There’s nothing wrong with this plan, in fact it could very lucrative, if worked right. But the very least, the Bobster should do is to drop this 3yo colt from any further Derby consideration or has he already by racing him here 2 weeks before the big show?
Class Leader, at 5/1, is the 2nd choice here, comes out of a F/G 1 length alw win last out going a 1 and 70 distance in 1:42 flat. Does close nicely thus far!
Dynamic Impact, at 6/1, is also x-entered in the GIII Lexington Stakes at Keeneland so something’s gotta give here. Broke his maiden last out at O/P going a mile in 1:38 but winning only by a neck. Stalks and pounces does this one but not always to a win!
King Cyrus , at 8/1, 7th in the GII Louisiana Derby last out where he failed to menace at any time in that race! A son of Bellamy Road and a Empire Maker mare does have the blood to go this far and should do better here for Todd Pletcher and the Winstar folks then last time out!
Global Strike , at 15/1, is x-entered in that same GIII Lexington Stakes at Keeneland is Saturday for the Pletcher barn has but a mdn win to his name and with 21 lengths back for 6th in the GIII Sunland derby last out and well behind the runner-up in that race in Midnight Hawk ! Here or Keeneland probably makes little different but needs to improve on Saturday in either race to be any kind of a 3yo force this season!
At 20/1 are Emmett Park , 12th in the GII Risen star back in Feb. last out, A Step Ahead , with just a Mdn win as a 2yo and Irish You Well , with no Mdn win at all round out this field of 8 here on Saturday!
So, back to our first point, what is Midnight Hawk , doing here? How about beating the pants off this field, winning a 2nd GIII title this year that sets him up for a Preakness run or a trip thru those lesser derby tilts this season then flying home to sunny southern California with the winner share of $300k as that’s most probably just what the old fox Bob Baffert is up to here on Saturday in the GIII Illinois Derby!
Post time for Race #9 – 6:42 pm CDT
Picks are – 1,3,5,8 exacta box, with the 7 at the back-end of a super play!