Midnight Hawk Headlines Robert B. Lewis


Midnight Hawk is coming off a win in the Sham Stakes last month (Photos by Benoit & Associates)

While Shared Belief will be skipping the 1 1/16-mile Robert B. Lewis Stakes this weekend, the Grade 2 race at Santa Anita Park has attracted some of the best 3-year-olds in California.

Midnight Hawk, the undefeated colt who is owned by a partnership that includes Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and NFL coach Mike Tice, leads the field of seven.

Midnight Hawk is coming off an easy win in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes last month and most likely will go off as the favorite. The colt scored an Equibase Speed Figure of 100 in the Sham, a nine-point increase from the figure earned for his 6 ¼-length victory in his December debut.


Candy Boy also looks to be a big threat in the race, even with only win to his name.  Candy Boy took four starts to break his maiden but that shouldn’t detract from his chances as he finished second in two of those races to eventual stakes winners, including 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day. Candy Boy is coming into the race off of a second-place finish in the CashCall Futurity behind Shared Belief. While he lost that race by 5 ¾ lengths, he scored a career-best 91 Equibase Speed Figure, three points better than his second-best figure.

Perhaps the horse most seasoned in stakes races is Diamond Bachelor. The War Front colt is a stakes winner on the turf, winning the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf Stakes at Del Mar last summer. He does have a start on the dirt, but that was a ninth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, a race that could probably be thrown out when looking at his dirt potential. His dam was stakes-placed at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt and his sire has successful offspring on the surface as well, which bodes well for this race.



The fastest horse in the race is Chitu, who earned a race-high 105 Speed Figure over six furlongs at Santa Anita in December and has fired three bullet workouts since then. The colt is undefeated in two starts but is entering his first route test after running at six furlongs in both his races.

The race is another step on the Kentucky Derby trail, with the winner earning 10 points toward the Kentucky Derby.


$200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes

Saturday, Race 8, 7:00 p.m. E.T.

1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds







Candy Boy (KY)

Gary Stevens


John Sadler


Diamond Bachelor (KY)

Julien Leparoux


Patrick Biancone


Midnight Hawk (KY)

Mike Smith


Bob Baffert


Home Run Kitten (KY)

Joe Talamo


David Hofmans


Cool Samurai (KY)

Corey Nakatani


John Shirreffs


El Nino Terrible (KY)

Edwin Maldonado


Peter Miller


Chitu (KY)

Martin Garcia


Bob Baffert


Racing Terms

Allowance race – A race for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions to determine weights to be carried based on the horse’s age, sex and/or past performance.

Also-eligible – A horse officially entered for a race, but not permitted to start unless the field is reduced by scratches below a specified number.

Apprentice – A rider who has not ridden a certain number of winners within a specified period of time. Also known as a “bug,” from the asterisk used to denote the weight allowance such riders receive.

Blinkers – A cup-shaped device that limits a horse’s vision. Blinkers, often used to try to improve a horse’s focus, come in a variety of sizes and shapes to allow as little or as much vision as the trainer feels is necessary.

Bullet – The fastest workout of the day at a track at a particular distance.

Claiming race – A race in which each horse entered is eligible to be purchased at a set price.

Closer – A horse that runs best in the latter part of the race, coming from off the pace.

Connections – Persons identified with a horse, such as owner, trainer, jockey and stable employees.

Disqualification – Change in order of finish by stewards for an infraction of the rules.

Dam – The mother of a horse.

Entry – Two or more horses with common ownership that are paired as a single betting unit in one race.

Front-runner – A horse whose running style is to attempt to get on or near the lead at the start of the race and to continue there as long as possible.

Furlong – An eighth of a mile.

Graded race – A non-restricted race with added money or guaranteed purse value of $100,000 or more which has been run at least twice under similar conditions and on the same surface and has been assigned graded status for the year contested by the American Graded Stakes Committee.

Handicap – This race type refers to a race where the weights are assigned by the track’s racing secretary or handicapper based upon past performances.

Length – A measurement approximating the length of a horse, used to denote distance between horses in a race.

Off track – A track that has a wet surface and isn’t labeled as “fast”.

Pacesetter – The horse that is running in front (on the lead).

Past performances – A horse’s racing record, earnings, bloodlines and other data, presented in composite form.

Prep – A workout (or race) used to prepare a horse for a future engagement.

Post Parade – Horses going from paddock to starting gate past the stands. The post parade provides spectators with a chance to get a final look at the horse before the race.

Post Position – Position of stall in starting gate from which a horse begins a race.

Rabbit – A speed horse running as an entry with another, usually a come-from-behind horse. The rabbit is expected to set a fast pace to help the chances of its stablemate.

Rank – A horse that refuses to settle under a jockey’s handling in a race, running in a headstrong manner without respect to pace.

Scratch – To be taken out of a race before it starts.

Silks – Jacket and cap worn by jockeys.

Sire – Father of a foal.

Stakes – A race for which the owner usually must pay a fee to run a horse. The fees can be for nominating, maintaining eligibility, entering and starting, to which the track adds more money to make up the total purse. Some stakes races are by invitation and require no payment or fee.

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