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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

A Dynamic Impact in the Illinois Derby

Dynamic Impact Illinois Derby 615 X 400
Photo: Four Footed Fotos

 

Joel Quenneville has seen better days. First, in heartbreaking fashion, his defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, when the rival Blues tied it with only seconds remaining, before ultimately taking a 2-0 playoff series lead in overtime. Approximately 15 minutes later and more pertinent to this article, his co-owned star colt was denied victory in the final stride today in front of a large crowd at Hawthorne Race Course. A healthy percentage of those fans, by the way, are Blackhawks supporters.

 

This afternoon’s $500,000 Illinois Derby may not have produced any 2014 Kentucky Derby starters, but what it did provide was a thrilling finish. On the wire, it was the lightly regarded Dynamic Impact making one final successful thrust to get his nose on the wire over the heavily favored Midnight Hawk. For the winner, the victory marked a swift ascent from maiden to graded stakes winner in less than two months.

 

Meanwhile, for the 2-5 Midnight Hawk, it was another solid effort, but disappointing finish. After bobbling at the break, the gray colt shot right to the lead under rider Martin Garcia, and made all the fractions of :24.11, :48.06, 1:12.09. Dynamic Impact was always his closest competitor, as the 9-1 shot stayed within a length of the Bob Baffert trainee throughout. The favorite briefly spurted out to a length and a half advantage at the top of the lane but began his all too familiar pattern of racing greenly down the stretch.

 

That was all Dynamic Impact, and rider, Miguel Mena, needed to edge closer, and the two would battle it out to the wire in the final sixteenth. Despite tiring late, Midnight Hawk remained a difficult foe to get past, with only the final jump seeing the upset come to fruition.

 

The tough defeat marked the third consecutive bridesmaid finish for the colt with the Chicago connections, and his fourth straight loss since winning the Grade 3 Sham in his second career start. Irish You Well, still a maiden, was the best of the rest, and finished third some 8 ½ lengths between the top pair.

 

"As soon as I got outside he picked it up," said Mena. "He kept coming, kept coming. I hit him on the shoulder, he never gave up. I'm happy we got to the outside, that's where the running started. From the quarter pole, I got excited. I knew I was going to be dangerous. Then at the very end the horse (Midnight Hawk), he never took off. He was getting tired and we were coming. I wasn't sure I had it. You never know with head bobs, you think you had it and then you didn't. I'm glad it worked out."

 

With the victory, the John Oxley owned, and Mark Casse trained, Dynamic Impact raised his lifetime record to 6-2-2-0. Final time for the nine furlongs over the fast track was a solid 1:49.07, making it the second fastest edition of the Illinois Derby in the 21st century, behind only Recapturetheglory in 2008.

 

A well intended son of Tiznow, Dynamic Impact finally got off a career losing streak last time, breaking his maiden at Oaklawn Park in his fifth start. He beat a useful horse that day, and it represented a nice jump up from his first four races. Today, he took an even bigger step forward and became a graded stakes winner. He also may have punched his ticket for the Preakness Stakes, four weeks from today.

 

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Older Comments about A Dynamic Impact in the Illinois Derby...

102 BSF for DI, the winner of the ID.
Another "Best of the West" fails to take care of business against less talent East of the Mississippi (see Kristo in Wood; Bayern in AR Derby). And the best part, no one will point out that these are the stellar talents that Cal. Chrome has been dusting.
  • VEGASJIM1952 · This was not a Best of the West horse Mary. Hawk is a miler who tried to go a distance and almost won. Bayern was HYPED not even close to our best. Our best are California Chrome, Dance with Fate, and Candy Boy. · 221 days ago
Thanks to you I tapped out on Candy Boy in the Santa Anita Derby, vegasjim.
  • VEGASJIM1952 · You did not see my comments to see if the track was favoring speed as it was in the early races and California Chrome was the play with the bias. · 221 days ago
Oh, I really like your chances yukichan. I wish I had all the 5 Cali horses in my futures. LOL
I "like" you triple_double because I only have Chromeo and Candy Boy left in my futures at 30 and 32 to 1 ...
@maryland, here's another west coast hater. Don't forget that Hoppy wins the Rebel, Chitu wins the Sunland, Dance with Fate wins the Blue Grass and Cali Chrome took care of SA Derby. I will repeat my prediction again, NO east coast based horse will hit the board in the KY derby. see you at the window!!
On the bright side, Midnight Hawk could go to the Belmont instead of the Derby or Preakness and be the early pacemaker. That way, if a horse has a shot to win the Triple Crown, he'll have at least one horse to save ground against.
On the bright side, Midnight Hawk could go to the Belmont instead of the Derby or Preakness and be the early pacemaker. That way, if a horse has a shot to win the Triple Crown, he'll have at least one horse to save ground against.
Hoppy beat up on the Oaklawn bunch. Candy Boy beat the Hawk and Chitu. Wicked Strong beat an allowance winner and a couple of NY breds (not that they aren't good)
I said weeks ago that hawk and chitu should be taken off of the trail. Hawk has loomed and stopped in slow races a few times now. He finds horses to beat him and today he made chitu look bad as a horse that took several times to break his maiden got him after being seemingly beat and re rallied. I have been disappointed with hawk and was not going to play but I threw 20 into the pic 3 and played the winner. I am surprised he did not pay more but they had to play someone.
As I kept saying to the nation, Midnight Hawk will never get a distance more than a mile. He had 24 sec quarters all the way around and was out of gas the last 1/8th of a mile. Baffert's best was New Year's Day who had to be retired. California's miler almost won this race making them look even stronger.
What a gutsy performance by Dynamic Impact. He stuck his nose up right at the wire and in case you didn't hear, Mark Casse is on fire all over North America!
Midnight Hawk was foaled May 14, 2011. He looked a little green again today down the stretch but when you consider his true age and his previous accomplishments there's still a good chance for more good to come. However, his KyDerby hopes will likely be taken off the table by his connections

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.