2022 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park

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Santa Anita Park Press Release
Updated: December 30, 2021

Kentucky Derby qualifier Sham Stakes Offers 10-4-2-1 Points To Top-Four Finishers

A multiple stakes winner on turf and most recently a close third in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, Doug O'Neill's Mackinnon transitions to dirt as he heads a group of five newly minted sophomores going a flat mile in the Grade 3, $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, January 1.

A qualifying race to the 2022 Kentucky Derby, the Sham winner will receive 10 qualifying points, with four to second, two to third and one point to the fourth place finisher.

2022 Sham Stakes Field & Odds

Race 7 at Santa Anita on Saturday, January 1 - Post 6:05 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Mackinnon 3-1 Juan Hernandez
124 Lbs
Doug O'Neill
2 Oviatt Class 7-2 Kent Desormeaux
120 Lbs
J. Desormeaux
3 Newgrange 2-1 John Velazquez
120 Lbs
Bob Baffert
4 Rockefeller 8-5 Flavien Prat
124 Lbs
Bob Baffert
5 Degree of Risk 12-1 Umberto Rispoli
120 Lbs
Eoin Harty

A recent Grade III stakes winner going a one turn mile in New York, Bob Baffert's Rockefeller will no doubt contend for favoritism in what will be his fourth career start.

Owned by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson's ERJ Racing, LLC, Madaket Stables, LLC, out of the Scat Daddy mare Scat Means Go, Mackinnon will try the main track for the first time since a fourth place finish going 4 ½ furlongs in his debut six starts back on May 9 here at Santa Anita.

Third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths by Modern Games in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Nov. 5 at Del Mar, Mackinnon is a colt that has always trained well on dirt and will thus be given an opportunity to the early Derby waters on Saturday.

Easily the leading money earner in the field with $327,860, Mackinnon has three one mile turf wins to his credit and is 6-3-1-1 overall.

A 2 ¼ length first-out maiden winner going six furlongs at Del Mar Aug. 28, Rockefeller was a well beaten fourth by his stablemate and eventual Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Corniche in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes going 1 1/16 miles here on Oct. 1.

Sent to Belmont Park for his third start, Rockefeller, who is by Medaglia d'Oro, out of the Speightstown mare Dance to Bristol, was off as the 4-5 favorite in the Grade III Nashua Stakes and he responded with 2 ¾ length win accomplished in gate to wire fashion.

Owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, Stonestreet Stables, LLC and Robert Masterson, Rockefeller, who was purchased for $750,000 out of the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, will be ridden by Flavien Prat.

Baffert will also be represented by Newgrange, a first-out maiden winner going six furlongs on Nov. 28 at Del Mar. By Violence out of the Empire Maker mare Bella Chianti, he's owned Golconda Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, SF Racing LLC, Siena Farm LLC, Starlight Racing, Stonestreet Stables, LLC, Waves Edge Capital LLC, and partners and will be ridden back by John Velazquez.

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Sham Stakes Race History

There are few Kentucky Derby prep races as young as the Sham Stakes (Grade 3) at Santa Anita Park, first held in 2001 and named after Secretariat's famous Triple Crown rival. At the same time, few preps in the same class as the Sham have been as successful at producing Derby starters and high-quality horses.

By awarding 17 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the top four finishers, including 10 to the winner, the Sham has cemented its position as a coveted early-season target for California's top 3-year-olds.

Originally held over 1 1/8 miles in early February, the Sham received an early boost when 2003 runner-up Empire Maker went on to finish second in the Kentucky Derby and first in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Two years later, Giacomo used a third-place effort in the Sham as a springboard to his shocking 50-1 triumph in the "Run for the Roses," which prompted the Sham to receive Grade 3 status in 2006.

The Sham was shifted to January in 2011 and shortened to a mile in 2012, but these changes haven't made the race any less productive. Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winners Tapizar and Goldencents claimed the Sham in 2011 and 2013, while Grade 1 winners Collected (2016), Gormley (2017), and McKinzie (2018) all reached the Sham winner's circle during the late 2010s.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has enjoyed more Sham success than any other conditioner, saddling six of the first 20 winners. But one of Baffert's most talented participants, future Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) winner Secret Circle, was beaten by Out of Bounds in 2012. The winning time was a stakes-record 1:34.56, a testament to how well both colts performed.

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