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The Sham Stakes

Forum: Horse Racing
Author: [Horse Racing] Topic: The Sham Stakes
mikeyp1 PM mikeyp1
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mikeyp1
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Posted: 1/6/2018 4:26:38 PM

Happy New Year, Covers cappers and cappets!

Since the first Triple Crown race of 2018, the Jerome, has been postponed until January 13, the Sham (G-III, $100,000, 1-1/16 miles; 5:35 Eastern Time) becomes the first of many table-setters for this year’s Kentucky Derby.

A field of seven, there is talent led by two Baffert trainees, McKinzie (3-5 ML) and Mourinho (4-1 ML), who will compete for part of the 17 total Derby points offered in this race (10-4-2-1 to the first four finishers). Stiff competition comes from Shivermetimbers (7-2 ML), a Jerry Hollendorfrer charge, with 20-1 long shot, City Plan, having a decent chance for the upset, if not a nice piece of change. My Boy Jack also conteds for off the pace.

Baffert is the all-time Sham leader with four wins. He has won this affair two of the last four races with Collected in 2016 and Midnight Hawk in 2014. He won with Bob and John in 2006, and with Wild and Wise in 2001. Hollendorfer last hit the circle in this race in 2002 with USS Tinosa.

Let’s take a look at the contenders:

#6 McKinzie…..Currently, McKinzie is ranked 14 among Horseracing Nation’s Top 20 Derby contenders. The son of 2007 KY Derby winner Street Sense, he is clearly the class of the field. Baffert takes off the blinkers for the colt who won the Los Al Futurity by DQ after stablemate, Solomini, was knocked out for interfering with original third place finisher, Instilled Regard. His work for this is steady and good. To win this, McKinzie might need to hold of closers City Plan and My Boy Jack. However, a possible scenario is McKinzie, as one of four speedsters, including Mourinho, Shivermetimbers and, maybe, All Out Blitz. They all should get out fast and might be charging for the wire in the last quarter mile. Mikey Smith takes the mount.

#5 Shivermetimbers….A ton of talent in the son of former TC upstart, Shanghai Bobby, his impressive stretch to a mile last out indicates that he will like the 1-1/16 miles distance today. He was beaten by McKinzie in October when he couldn’t keep up with the Baffert colt. But that was at 7F and, with far more upfront speed in this one, this boy could pull off the upset. Prat rides, a real plus.

#7 City Plan….Even at 20-1, I cannot totally discount him, with a career record is 4/2-0-0, including a win in the Gold Rush on the Golden Gate carpet last out. Tyler Conner handles the strap for Eon Hardy. His speed figures indicate that he isn’t fast enough to run with these. However, if this ends up in a speed ball, you might see this guy ripping up for the win, if not a decent chunk of change. A must-include for me.

 

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mikeyp1 PM mikeyp1
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mikeyp1
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Posted: 1/6/2018 4:30:49 PM

#4 Mourinho….Blinkers back on (taken off for his last race) for the lad out of Super Saver, a KY Derby winner, and the second of Baffert’s boys in this one. This 3-year old was a $625K Ocala purchase. Mourinho has not disappointed with a record of 3/1-2-0, including a somewhat salty second place finish in the Grade III Bob Hope last November. The speed in this race could be his bugaboo at the added distance with his longest race to date at 7F. Nonetheless, he is a contender for win, if not the collector of a nice check. Van Dyke rides for BB with the two combining for 33% wins at this track in 2017-18.

#3 All Out Blitz…..While this guy looks outmanned here at 10-1, he did beat a promising Baffert last race (Restoring Hope) with a nose nip. His first two races were a bit vanilla for trainer Simon Callaghan and he gets Tyler Baze, who piloted AOB to his lone win. Despite a juicy 10-1 ML, I will choose to look the other way.

#2 Here is Happy…..Beaten by more than 19L in the Bob Hope, he had a lot of early trouble and never recovered. This appears to be his biggest challenge yet, but the horse player in me says that maybe he can grab a small piece because of the added distance and his breeding (Tale of Ekati out of a Coronado’s Quest mare). A bit of a crap shoot at 20-1 with some indication that his running style will be that of a true closer.

#1 My Boy Jack….. Beaten by three lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), he finished a very game seventh. The Desormeux Bros have done well together at 26% wins in 2017-18. Keith is proving his mettle as a trainer with Kent showing flashes of his once brilliant career. The son of Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) looks destined to a career on turf, although there is a lot of dirt in his breeding. This is a great spot to learn if dirt will be a part of his resume. Toss his lone dirt race, his debut last June. Give the boy a good look at 12-1 because if he takes to the dirt, it could be full-speed ahead.

 

 

mikeyp1 PM mikeyp1
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Posted: 1/6/2018 4:36:10 PM

My picks

#1 My Boy Jack in an upset

$25 win, $50 place

$16 exacta:1/6

$8 exacta: 1/4,5

$3 tri: 1/4,5,6/4,5,6,7

GL TO ALL!

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