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Mike Tice’s Midnight Hawk the 4-5 favorite in $500,000 Illinois Derby

Sham Stakes Horse Race AP

Midnight Hawk, a three-year-old colt co-owned by Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice, is the heavy favorite to capture Saturday’s $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero.

Midnight Hawk has been installed as the 4-5 favorite on the track’s morning line, which is an estimate of how the race will be bet. No other horse in the eight-horse field is lower than 5-1.

The winner’s share of the purse is $300,000. A gray horse, Midnight Hawk will break from post position No. 3.

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, whose team plays the St. Louis Blues at 3 p.m. Eastern on Saturday in a game televised on NBC, is another co-owner of Midnight Hawk.

Midnight Hawk has won 2-of-5 career races, with two second-place finishes and one third-place finish. He finished second in his lone other try at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Illinois Derby.

Midnight Hawk has 52 qualifying points toward running in the Kentucky Derby and would make the field if trainer Bob Baffert and ownership elected to run. However, the Kentucky Derby is in just two weeks, which makes Midnight Hawk’s participation perhaps questionable. The Preakness, which is run on Saturday, May 17, could be another logical next race for Midnight Hawk if he performs well at Hawthorne, which is about 10 miles to the southwest of downtown Chicago.

Tice told the Chicago Tribune that the Illinois Derby was a logical spot for Midnight Hawk, who has been competitive throughout his career but has yet to win beyond a mile.

“Joel and I are coaches and when you’re a coach you look for the best matchups. You should take a horse and look at it the same way, which is what Bob Baffert did,” Tice told the Tribune.

Post time for the Illinois Derby is 6:42 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.

UPDATE 8:29 p.m. ET: Midnight Hawk was second by a nose in the Illinois Derby, earning $100,000 and increasing his career earnings to $447,000.

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7 Responses to “Mike Tice’s Midnight Hawk the 4-5 favorite in $500,000 Illinois Derby”
  1. dragonfly99 says: Apr 19, 2014 10:10 AM

    Well, at least Mike is good at one thing.

  2. ariani1985 says: Apr 19, 2014 10:28 AM

    Is mike Tice still the favorite to beat turd bay in the playoffs? Oh I guess he already did!

    Skol

  3. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 19, 2014 11:55 AM

    The horse was trained to run fast by having some degenerate Viking fans sneak up behind it.

  4. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 19, 2014 1:11 PM

    Showing tremendous versatility, Midnight Hawk also wowed crowds in St. Paul on it’s way to winning Miss Minnesota 2013. This is no one-trick pony.

  5. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 19, 2014 3:04 PM

    To build up the horse’s strength and endurance, Mike rides him around the track a few times every morning.

  6. mackcarrington says: Apr 19, 2014 5:43 PM

    Team owners can’t have any involvement in horse racing. Why are coaches allowed to?

  7. thatfanyouhate says: Apr 20, 2014 1:19 AM

    interesting info here;

    Mike rice lived just south of Seattle for many years. midnight hawk/Seahawk…
    the other owner (blackhawks guy), was or is, heading an investment group wanting to bring NHL to Seattle
    coincidence? seems like they got a thing for Seattle…

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