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.