Sophomores Take Center Stage In Robert B Lewis

Unbeaten Midnight Hawk will put his perfect mark on the line Saturday when taking on six rivals in the Grade 2, $200,000 Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita Park. The 1 1/16-mile race is worth 10 points to the winner toward a berth in the Kentucky Derby starting gate, but before that it is a steppingstone to the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 5.

Trainer Bob Baffert will saddle Midnight Hawk for his third career start after sending the gray son of Midnight Lute out for easy wins in his prior pair. The sophomore romped by 6 1/5 lengths in his December 13 debut at Hollywood Park before trying a mile in the January 11 Sham and emerging a 1 3/4-length victor.

Candy Boy didn't get as good of a start to his career as Midnight Hawk. The John Sadler pupil dropped his initial three efforts at Del Mar and Santa Anita before breaking through with a 8 1/4-length score November 22 at Hollywood Park. The Candy Ride bay closed out his juvenile campaign in the CashCall Futurity on December 14, finishing a well-beaten second when 5 3/4 lengths behind eventual two-year-old champion Shared Belief.

Diamond Bachelor is the only other entrant in the field with prior stakes experience. The War Front colt captured the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf last September at Del Mar then placed second in the Zuma Beach on Santa Anita's green.

Chitu, Cool Samurai, El Nino Terrible and Home Run Kitten are all taking on stakes company for the first time. Chitu is undefeated in two starts following a 1 1/4-length maiden win at Del Mar and an optional claiming victory at Santa Anita, both in December. Cool Samurai broke his maiden for trainer John Shirreffs on December 27 in his second outing, while El Nino Terrible graduated a winner on January 17 in his second U.S. start for conditioner Peter Miller.

Home Run Kitten broke his maiden sprinting over Santa Anita's turf on January 11, but has posted a pair of decent works on the main track since then.

2014 G2 $200,000 Robert B Lewis Stakes Information

Date: Saturday, February 9
Where: Santa Anita Park, CA
Post Time: 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
1 1/16 Mile Dirt
Purse: $200,000
Robert B Lews Stakes wagering may include:

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Field and odds for G2 $200,000 Robert B Lewis Stakes

PP Horse A/S M/E Wgt Jockey Trainer
1 Candy Boy 3 C L 118 Stevens Gary L. Sadler John W.
2 Diamond Bachelor 3 C   118 Leparoux Julien R. Biancone Patrick L.
3 Midnight Hawk 3 C L 120 Smith Mike E. Baffert Bob
4 Home Run Kitten 3 C L 118 Talamo Joseph Hofmans David E.
5 Cool Samurai 3 G L 118 Nakatani Corey S. Shirreffs John A.
6 El Nino Terrible 3 C L 118 Maldonado Edwin A. Miller Peter
7 Chitu 3 C L 118 Garcia Martin Baffert Bob

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