Reminiscent of several standout races in 2016 in the region, the $100,000 Sham Stakes (G3) stretch run featured two horses locked in a duel to a wire, well clear of the rest of the field.
Each week BloodHorse.com looks forward to the weekend's biggest races. Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes races in North America. This week we have graded stakes action on both coasts at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.
Mother Nature may exert an influence in the marquee races on both coasts Saturday, as there is a good chance for rain at Santa Anita and at Gulfstream Park.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Sham Stakes (gr. III) and recaps Irish War Cry's win in the Marylander Stakes.
When Gormley found himself four wide in both the first and second turns during the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), stalking the pace instead of out front, it wasn't much of a surprise the John Shirreffs trainee faded late.
Juddmonte Farms' Arrogate cruised to his third straight victory in Southern California Aug. 4 at Del Mar and may be heading east for the Aug. 27 Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Speedway Stable's Collected made the most of his first start on dirt with a smooth victory from just off the pace in the $100,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds Jan. 9 at Santa Anita Park.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita. read blog
Budget Stable's Dressed in Hermes will look for his second straight graded stakes score in the $100,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 9 at Santa Anita Park, but it will come over a relatively unfamiliar surface.
Matthew Schera's Race Day edged past a stubborn Midnight Hawk near the wire to capture the $250,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) for 4-year-olds and up March 14 at Oaklawn Park.
Coming off a powerful victory in the Jan. 31 Palos Verdes Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park, Conquest Two Step appears the one to beat in the $250,000 San Carlos Stakes (gr. II) March 7 at the Southern California oval.
Calculator's win in the Jan. 10 Sham Stakes (gr. III) adds to the legacy of the O'Farrell family's Ocala Stud. The Florida-bred son of In Summation races for longtime Ocala Stud client Richard Pell.
Calculator entered the $100,750 Sham Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 10 at Santa Anita Park still a maiden but left a stakes winner after posting a dominating 4 1/4-length victory over stablemate Rock Shandy.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Sham Stakes (gr. III) and Hal's Hope Stakes (gr. III). read blog
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) and La Brea Stakes (gr. I). read blog
Bob Baffert will take four shots at champion Shared Belief in the $300,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I), the featured event as Santa Anita Park kicks off its 2014-15 winter/spring meet the day after Christmas.
Tanma Corp.'s speedy Chitu won nearly gate to wire in a $100,000 Damascus Stakes that came up deep in talent Oct. 31 at Santa Anita Park. The field included six graded stakes winners.
Bob Baffert stablemates Midnight Hawk and Chitu figure prominently in the $100,000 Damascus Stakes Oct. 31, at Santa Anita Park, the final race before four Breeders' Cup World Championships races on Friday's card.
Rallying from last on the backstretch, favored Enterprising found room between horses in the drive and powered his way to victory in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT) as racing returned to the turf at Del Mar.
Enterprising and Argyle Cut, separated by a neck when first and second, respectively, in the opening day Oceanside Stakes, battle again as turf racing returns to Del Mar Aug. 9 in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Dynamic Impact continued trainer Mark Casse's big spring April 19, edging 2-5 favorite Midnight Hawk by the narrowest of noses in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Hawthorne Race Course.
TimeformUS Saturday Stakes Plays from Keeneland, Hawthorne, and Aqueduct read blog
Doug Salvatore profiles the form, pedigree, speed and red flags of Kentucky Derby contenders. Part 2 of 3. read blog
Claire Novak and Frank Angst preview the Illinois Derby and the Charles Town Classic. Watch Video
Given the colt's Chicago connections, it's not surprising Bob Baffert would send Midnight Hawk to the April 19 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. As for his plans from there on out, you'll have to read between the lines.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|I'll Wrap It Up||Doug F. O'Neill||
|Kristo||John W. Sadler||
|Life Is a Joy||Jerry Hollendorfer||
|Midnight Hawk||Bob Baffert||
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