Illinois Derby Analysis


Kentucky Derby prep? Possibly, if Midnight Hawk wins in good form.

Preakness Prep? Probably; four weeks out is the perfect spot on the calendar to birth a Middle Jewel new shooter.

Highlight of the Hawthorne Race Course stakes schedule? Definitely. Kentucky Derby prep or not, the $500,000 Illinois Derby remains the state’s preeminent race on the main track for America's glamour division. Without further ado, let’s take a look at tomorrow’s field.

Midnight Hawk - From the Bob Baffert barn, the speedy son of Midnight Lute comes to Chicago sporting a big class edge. He has performed well in four consecutive graded stakes out West, including a victory in the Grade 3 Sham, and a second place finish, albeit a well beaten one, to the Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome in the Grade 2 San Felipe.  Owned by an interesting cast of characters, including Chicago Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville, and former Chicago Bears Offensive Coordinator Mike Tice, the colt will be a deserving heavy favorite, and in my estimation, stands out as strictly the one