The Sham, named for the winner of the 1973 Santa Anita Derby who was subsequently second to the immortal Secretariat in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, will provide the winner with 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
Owned and bred by Godolphin, LLC Coliseum made his highly anticipated debut this past Nov. 17 at Del Mar, and he responded with a rousing 6 ¾ length going seven furlongs at odds of 1-2.
Gun Metal Gray, who fetched $225,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale in Ocala, Fla., this past March, broke his maiden in his second start going one mile on Aug. 22. He was subsequently second to Baffert's Game Winner in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes here on Sept. 29 and was again well beaten by Game Winner, finishing fifth, beaten 12 ½ lengths in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Nov. 2.
2019 Sham Stakes Odds & Entries
Race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:00 PM
|2||Gray Magician||4-1||Flavien Prat
|4||Easy Shot||30-1||Rafael Bejarano
|6||Gunmetal Gray||5-2||Mike Smith
|7||Much Better||6-1||Drayden Van Dyke
After many years of taking the Dubai route to Churchill Downs, Godolphin has enlisted the services of Baffert in the hope he can lead them to the promised land at long last on the first Saturday in May. A grey colt by Tapit, out of the Menifee mare Game Face, Coliseum was bred in Kentucky by his owner and should relish the extra furlong on Saturday. Coliseum looms strictly the horse to beat with Joe Talamo back aboard.
Owner: Godolphin, LLC | Trainer: Bob Baffert
Well beaten in his six furlong debut July 29, this Kentucky-bred colt by Exchange Rate relished the stretch out to a mile on Aug. 22 at Del Mar, winning by 6 ¾ lengths under Drayden Van Dyke. With Flavien Prat taking over, Gunmetal was a good second, beaten 4 ½ lengths by Game Winner in the mile and one sixteenth Grade I American Pharoah, a race in which he earned a 90-Beyer Speed figure, his best "number" in four juvenile starts.
With Mike Smith taking over for the first time in the Sham, his connections are hoping Gunmetal Gray's experience will give him a competitive edge as he faces Coliseum for the first time.
Owner: Hollendorfer, LLC, Pearl Racing & West Point Thoroughbreds | Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Sham Stakes Quick Facts
First held in 2001, the race is named after Sham, the horse best known for running second to Secretariat in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but a fine horse in his own right. The California-trained colt won the 1973 Santa Anita Derby and beat Secretariat home when finishing second to the Triple Crown winner's stablemate Angle Light in the Wood Memorial.
The Sham Stakes is one of the first `Road to the Kentucky Derby' races held at the start of each calendar year. The Grade III race is held at Santa Anita Park in mid-January, and has been contested at 1 mile since 2012. The race has a current purse of $100,000, and the Sham Stakes winner receives 10 qualifying points towards the Kentucky Derby with the top four finishers all receiving points (10-4-2-1).
The race record for fastest time are the Pamplemousse (2009) going 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.86, and the current 1 mile record time of 1:34.56 by Out of Bounds (2012) with late jockey Garrett Gomez aboard. Gomez would win back-to-back Sham Stakes with his 2012 finish. Gomez is also tied with jockeys Alex Solis and Victor Espinoza for total Sham victories, each totaling a record of four wins.
Trainer Bob Baffert has won a record four Sham Stakes, with Baffert's most recent win in 2016 with Collected. Collected ran in the Preakness Stakes. Collected then took nearly a year off before returning to win his first four starts of 2017 including the $1 million Pacific Classic over the world's No. 1 race horse, Arrogate. Baffert also trained Bob and John, who won the 2006 Sham and competed in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.
The 2017 Sham winner was Gormley, who went on to win the Santa Anita Derby and then run in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Gormley has earned more than $1 million.
The 2013 Sham winner was Goldencents, who also won the Santa Anita Derby before running in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Over the next 15 months, Goldencents would finish 2nd six times and also win the Breeders' Cup Mile in both 2013 and 2014 to amass earnings of more than $3 million.
Colonel John was the winner of the 2008 Sham, and he ran in the Kentucky Derby and then won the Travers Stakes that same year. He would go on to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic two times and earn more than $1.7 million.
In three consecutive years, the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile fell to a winner of the Sham Stakes. Tapizar, winner of the Sham Stakes in 2011, won the Dirt Mile the following year, while 2013 Sham Stakes winner Goldencents won the Dirt Mile in 2013 and 2014.