OTB Race Previews & Odds
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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Sham Stakes, a major prep race for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby is on tap for this Saturday, January 11 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. A group of three year olds will be featured as they race one mile on Santa Anita's main track for a purse of $100,000.
The Sham Stakes has attracted a well matched field of just six three year olds to go in race 5 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule. Post time is 2:30 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all six entries for this Grade 3 stakes - five of six exit Maiden Special Weight victories.
Top Fortitude - has just one career start for trainer R. Kory Owens and it was a good one - a MSW score at Hollywood Park November 16. He had a field best 92 Beyer Speed Figure in that race and is expected to bring the speed in his first start around two turns. Up and coming Kayla Stra will be in the saddle from post 5.
Life Is a Joy - Jerry Hollendorfer trained gelding races in graded stakes company for the first time off a second in the minor King Glorious Stakes at Hollywood Park December 22 and an eighth in the minor Real Quiet Stakes November 23. He won his first three career starts including the Charlie Palmer Stakes at Fresno in his third start October 5. He enters as the top money earner in the field and is one of the most experienced as well.
Ontology - finally broke maiden last time out at this distance in his eighth career start here December 28 after an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Generous Stakes November 30 and a distant tenth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Before the BC was an eighth in the Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes here September 28, a second in the minor Oak Tree Juvenile Turf Stakes at Del Mar September 4 and an OK fourth in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Best Pal also here August 4. He makes his ninth start Saturday looking for a breakthrough in stakes company. Ontology starts from the 3-hole with Mario Gutierrez in the saddle.
Sham Stakes betting at Santa Anita Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Midnight Hawk - will race for just the second time for trainer Bob Baffert looking to build on a nice MSW score at Hollywood Park December 13. He won that 7 1/2 furlong race by an impressive 6 1/4 lengths as 6-5 favorite. Midnight Hawk starts from the outside post with the red-hot Mike Smith aboard. He was mighty impressive in his only start and could be the one to watch Saturday.
Kristo - will make his stakes debut for trainer John Sadler after placing in all three career starts. He broke maiden last time out by 6 3/4 lengths here October 30 after a pair of seconds in similar races this summer. Kristo drew the rail and will have Rafael Bejarano in the reins.
I'll Wrap It Up - Doug O'Neill trained colt races in stakes company for the first time but does have five career starts under his belt. He finally broke maiden last time out at Hollywood Park December 7 after a second and a third respectively in similar races this winter. I'll Wrap It Up has steadily improved and hopes his success will spill over into stakes company Saturday. Tyler Baze gets the call from post 2 Saturday.
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