Midnight Hawk, a gray son
of Midnight Lute and the Wolf Power mare Miss Wineshine, was an
impressive debut winner for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert in Friday’s
fourth, a $45,250 maiden race for 2-year-olds.
Bred in Kentucky by Mike
Pegram, Midnight Hawk is owned by a partnership that includes Pegram,
Joel Quenneville, coach of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago
Blackhawks and Mike Tice, a longtime NFL player
and former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
After breaking slowly
under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Midnight Hawk moved up quickly to
take over the lead, dropped back slightly while stablemate Wynhurst and
Snuggley Bear battled, cruised up outside that
pair into the stretch and pulled clear in the final eighth of a mile.
The 6-5 favorite against
five opponents, Midnight Hawk paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.40 while covering
the 7 ½ furlongs over Cushion Track in 1:29.26. The margin of victory
was 6 ¼ lengths.
Mr T Bird, the longest
shot in the field at nearly 29-1, completed a Friday double for trainer
Mike Puype with a last-to-first victory in the $55,932 feature.
Rebounding after four
consecutive off-the-board finishes, the 4-year-old Military gelding
lagged well off the quick pace set by Monastic, rallied outside eventual
runner-up Holladay Road and won by a half-length
under jockey Brice Blanc.
Owned by Three Kings
Racing, Mr T Bird, who is out of the Mongoose mare Patient Malory,
completed the 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.06. He paid $59.60, $21.40 and
$12.20 and increased his earnings to $96,510.
The win was the third in
13 starts for Mr T Bird and his second in three tries over the Betfair
Hollywood Park grass. The Kentucky-bred won an optional claimer by 2 ½
lengths June 29 in his first race for Puype,
who also won Friday’s fifth with Awesome Return.
Holladay Road, a 5-1 shot,
finished a half-length in front of pacesetter and 8-1 outsider
Monastic, who led for most of the way under apprentice Drayden VanDyke.
Holladay Road returned $5.40 and $3.60 while the
show price on Monastic was $5.40. Horizontalyspeakin, the 19-10
favorite, checked in fourth. Olympic Blue, Power Foot and Empty Headed
completed the order of finish. American Blend was scratched.
A 2-year-old son of Decarchy, Awesome Return provided jockey Joe Talamo with the third of his four wins on the afternoon..
Talamo, who also swept the
early double with Chief Lion and Addendum in addition to capturing the
sixth with Amanda, moved into a tie with Rafael Bejarano for the top
spot in the rider’s race.
With five days left in the final Autumn meet, Bejarano and Talamo both have 27 wins. Martin Garcia is third with 24.
In the day’s final race,
Amelia Green, a 20-year-old English apprentice, picked up the first win
of her career by guiding 7-2 third choice Twin Six to victory in the
$8,000 claimer. It was Green’s first mount in
the United States.