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Dynamic Impact Upsets Midnight Hawk in Illinois Derby Thriller

Contact : Jim Miller (708) 780-3671

Hawthorne Race Course

Contact : Jim Miller - (708) 780-3700

For Immediate Release


Dynamic Impact Upsets Midnight Hawk in Illinois Derby Thriller


STICKNEY, IL  -- Close, but no cigar.  That’s how things must have felt on the ice when the St. Louis Blues scored with just six seconds left in regulation to send game two of their playoff series with the Chicago Blackhawks into overtime before eventually winning.  That’s also how the connections had to feel when Dynamic Impact, on his birthday, caught Midnight Hawk in a head bob at the wire in the Grade 3, $500,000 Illinois Derby, Presented by Xpressbet, Saturday at Hawthorne.

            Midnight Hawk entered the race off a graded stakes victory in the Sham, followed by three graded stakes placed efforts and was sent off as the 2-5 favorite in the Illinois Derby.  Following a stumble at the start, Midnight regained his footing quickly and set the early fractions.  Tracking him along the inside was Miguel Mena and Dynamic Impact as Martin Garcia and Midnight Hawk covered the opening quarter in :24, the half in :48 and three-quarters in 1:12.  Turning into the stretch, Midnight Hawk held a length lead as Mena guided Dynamic Impact off the fence and re-fired in the lane.  At the wire, Dynamic Impact got his nose down in time, catching Midnight Hawk.  The final time for the 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track was 1:49.07, the fastest Illinois Derby since 1999.

            Owned by John Oxley and trained by Mark Casse, Dynamic Impact earned $300,000 for the victory.  He returned $21.20, $6.00, and $4.80.  Midnight Hawk returned $2.20, and $2.10.  Maiden Irish You Well rallied for third and returned $4.80 to show.

            Jockey Miguel Mena was aboard Dynamic Impact, “We were very confident in this horse.  Nobody chased the favorite so it was up to us to do it.  We had no choice. I was able to put some pressure on him.  I was glad I was able to put my horse on the outside at the quarter pole because he wasn’t liking it on the inside.  By the eighth pole I knew he was coming back.  I kept encouraging him. I’m glad I got it at the end.  I was sure I had it.  You never know with head bobs, you think you had it and then you don’t.”

            Martin Garcia got a big effort from Midnight Hawk but came up just short, “He tried to break really sharp but the ground was a little loose.  He recovered right away.  He hit the lead and I had all the chance to win, but he just got a little tired.”



            Live racing returns to Hawthorne on Friday, February 21 with the spring meet racing through April 27.  In February, racing will take place on Friday – Sunday with Wednesday cards being added in March.  First post for the spring meet is slated to be 1:45 PM.  Hawthorne Race Course is located in Stickney IL at 3501 S. Laramie Ave.  For information on live racing or groups at Hawthorne Race Course, contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700 or visit Hawthorne online at

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