Midnight Hawk Stars for Famous Owners in Sham


Midnight Hawk won his maiden impressively on December 13 (Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates). 

When Midnight Hawk steps on the track on Saturday for the $100,000 Sham Stakes, he will enter a playoff-type situation that some of his famous owners are familiar with.

The Midnight Lute colt is owned by a partnership that includes Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, who is coming off of a Stanley Cup-winning season, and newly hired Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Tice. Both have been in playoff situations and surely know that this race could impact their horse’s Kentucky Derby chances.

Joel Quenneville

Mike Tice

Midnight Hawk is making the jump to the Triple Crown trail after impressively breaking his maiden in his debut on Dec. 13. While there is no fear of the colt being eliminated from the Derby trail if he loses the race, a win would result in 10 valuable points toward the Kentucky Derby. Midnight Hawk has Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert and Derby-winning jockey Mike Smith in his corner, but with a six-horse field, a win is anything but certain.

Mike Tice hits Del Mar Pick 6

Midnight Hawk will have to battle some other colts with star connections in the Sham, all who are experienced at successfully getting a horse to the Kentucky Derby.

Also in the race is Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf contender Ontology. While the colt earned his first career win a few weeks ago, he is a multiple-stakes-placed colt. He also has experienced connections on his bandwagon with 2012 Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez riding for Derby-winning owner J. Paul Reddam’s Reddam Racing LLC.

While Ontology breaks up the team that took I’ll Have Another to a Kentucky Derby win by having Simon Callaghan as his trainer instead of Doug O’Neill.

O’Neill also is represented in the race. He will saddle I’ll Wrap It Up, a colt whose speed figures have steadily increased as he’s gotten more experience under his belt. The big knock on the colt is that he took five starts to break his maiden but his top Equibase Speed Figure of 89 is on par with others in the field. While the Sham is a one-mile race, a distance I’ll Wrap It Up finished second at in his lone attempt, the colt is proven at 1 1/16 miles,

There’s no doubt that Midnight Hawk will be the most-watched horse in the race on Saturday because of his famous connections. However, with five other horses loading into the starting gate, he will have his work cut out for him if he looks to continue his undefeated streak into the second round of the Kentucky Derby trail races.


$100,000 Sham Stakes
January 11, Santa Anita, Race 5, 5:30p.m. E.T.
3-year-olds over one mile on dirt






Kristo (KY)

R Bejarano

J W Sadler


I'll Wrap It Up (KY)

T Baze

D F O'Neill


Life Is a Joy (CA)

C S Nakatani

J Hollendorfer


Ontology (KY)

M Gutierrez

S Callaghan


Top Fortitude (AZ)

K Stra

R K Owens


Midnight Hawk (KY)

M E Smith

B Baffert

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