At a glance

  • Colt, Ontario-bred, foaled March 9, 2022
  • By Oscar Performance out of La Malaguena
  • Trainer: Kevin Attard
  • Foundation development at Margaux Farm (KY)
  • Acquired at 2023 CTHS Canadian Premier Yearling Sale

Lonehawk was named after Canada’s best-known fighter ace and a legend.

Born in Owen Sound, Ontario, William “Billy” Bishop is a hero and the highest scoring, best known Canadian flying ace of all time. As a leading Allied fighter pilot, Bishop was often allowed to fly alone deep into enemy territory. His preference for solo missions earned him the nickname “The Lone Hawk”.

In his youth, Bishop was a scrapper who excelled in horseback riding. At 20 years of age, he eagerly signed up for duty when WWI broke out and was flying combat zone missions by October of 1915. Courtesy of a no-holds-barred style of flying that always had him at the front of the pack, Bishop’s plane often returned from missions tattered from ground and air fire. A mechanic once counted 210 bullet holes in his aircraft after a patrol. Bishop realized that this approach would eventually get him killed, so he began specializing in taking the enemy by surprise.

Unquestionably brave, the Lone Hawk flew mostly unaccompanied in a Nieuport 17 fighter, a plane that was distinctly inferior in speed and firepower to those flown by the Germans. Even doubters of Bishop’s total tally of 72 downed enemy aircraft recognize that the daring flyer’s lowest possible number of victories still represents an incredibly impressive performance.

Bishop won the Military Cross for wreaking havoc in the skies at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, first taking on three fighters and downing one, then destroying a German observation balloon that was reporting on Allied trench lines and troop movements, and moments later shooting down two more aircraft while being hunted by three others. He later earned the Victoria Cross for single-handedly attacking a German airfield and obliterating three enemy planes during one of his signature lone patrols. His other decorations include the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, Distinguished Flying Cross, and France’s Légion d’honneur and the Croix de Guerre with palm.

Calling Bishop “Hell’s Handmaiden”, the Germans put a bounty on his head after he took out 12 of their planes in a single month. The Lone Hawk fought the Red Baron to a draw and renowned German fighter pilot Ernst Udet called him “the greatest English scouting ace”.

Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, Bishop become the first Canadian Air Marshal and director of the Royal Canadian Air Force. He helped to create a system that trained over 167,000 airmen in WWII.

Two wars took a great toll on Bishop’s health and he died in 1956 at 62 years of age. He was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame and has been memorialized in theatre, TV, film, stamps, roadways, schools, parks, and airports.

One of our Canuck Racing Club member’s great-grandfather, Maurice Bishop Cooper, was a cousin of Billy Bishop.

About the sire

Lonehawk’s sire, Kentucky-bred Oscar Performance, retired from racing with a record of 8-0-1 and more than $2.34 million in purses earned in 15 starts. As a 2YO in 2016, he won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The next year he finished first in the G1 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes and Secretariat Stakes and later raced in the Longine’s Breeders’ Cup Turf. In his final campaign, Oscar Performance had four starts, won two G1 races (with eSpeed figures of 120), and participated in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

At the time of Lonehawk‘s acquisition, Oscar Performance had sired 172 foals, 58 starters, and 26 winners of 45 races with progeny earnings of $2,742,506. His first foals were 3-year-olds in 2023. He was sired by Kitten’s Joy, the Eclipse Award-winning Champion Turf Horse in 2004.

About the dam

Our colt’s dam, La Malaguena, is a 15-year-old mare who raced from 2011 to 2014. Sired by English Channel, she won black type stakes races at Mountaineer and Turfway Park in her final year of racing in which she twice registered her career high eSpeed figure of 106.

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