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.
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.
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
The pedigree of Midnight Hawk, on the surface a mating between two sprinters, actually shows a nice balance between speed and stamina elements.
Hal's Hope, Sham, Ft. Lauderdale, San Pasqual, Revolutionary's return, and more! view slideshow
Evan Hammonds recaps the Sham Stakes, San Pasqual Stakes, and Ft. Lauderdale Stakes. watch video
Evan Hammonds recaps the Sham Stakes, San Pasqual Stakes, and Ft. Lauderdale Stakes.
The $100,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park on Jan. 11 was a two-horse race all the way down to the final sixteenth, and considering the fact that only four runners started, that was not surprising.
Are you tired of Kentucky Derby prep races that don't soak up excitement and leave your appetite whet for more? Then you need the Sham, now! read blog
First-out maiden winners Top Fortitude and Midnight Hawk each take a giant step into graded company as part of a field of six 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 11 at Santa Anita Park.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Into Mischief closed out 2012 as the third leading freshman sire, following late-season stakes wins by his sons Goldencents, Vyjack, and Sittin At the Bar.
Evan Hammonds recaps a few 3-year-old races, including the Sham Stakes and Jerome Stakes. watch video
Odds-on favorite Goldencents got his start on the Triple Crown trail off to a solid start with a 1 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 5 at Santa Anita Park.
The Triple Crown season at Santa Anita Park begins Jan. 5 with the Sham Stakes (gr. III) led by Goldencents, recent winner of the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) and runner-up in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I).
Out of Bounds, a big colt with a big future, swept past odds-on favorite Secret Circle in the final couple of strides to capture the $100,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds by a half-length at Santa Anita Jan. 7.
Undefeated Secret Circle, winner of the inaugural Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint two months ago, will make his first attempt around two turns for trainer Bob Baffert in the $100,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III).
Led by the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on opening day Dec. 26, Santa Anita Park announced its 2011-12 stakes schedule which will include nine grade I events over the course of its 79-day meet which will conclude April 22.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Tapizar has been taken off the Derby trail after a chip was discovered in his left knee following his disappointing fifth-place finish in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at odds of 1-5 Feb. 12
When Tapizar won last weekend's Sham Stakes (gr. III, video) in easy, front-running style, he became the newest graded stakes winner to emerge from the successful breeding program developed by late Verne Winchell. Read Blog
Sham winner is one to watch on the Triple Crown trail. Read More
Sent off as the even-money favorite Jan. 15, the son of Tapit proved he is a serious 3-year-old when he won his stakes debut in the $100,000 Sham (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Tapizar will be the likely favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Sham Stakes (gr. III) based off his dominating 10 1/2-length maiden victory in November at Churchill.
Terese McWilliams' California homebred Alphie's Bet pulled clear at the top of the stretch and raced home a 2 1/4-length winner in the $150,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III), a 3-year-old race rescheduled from last weekend.
I really hope it doesn't rain too hard at Santa Anita on Saturday because I am getting tired of these postponements.
Eight of the original 10 entrants for Santa Anita's Sham Stakes (gr. III), a useful prep for next month's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), remained part of the lineup when the entries were taken for the March 6 makeup date.
Santa Anita has canceled its live program for Feb. 27 after heavy overnight rain hit the Arcadia track.
The grade III Sham Stakes brings together a mixture of local horses looking to break out of maiden and allowance company in a big way.
Jason, Tom, and Rich Nilsen of twinspires.com preview the Sham Stakes (gr. III) and the Davona Dale (gr. II). Watch Video
The $150,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Feb. 27 should serve as a good indicator for 10 trainers wondering if their charges belong on the Triple Crown trail.
HRTV's weekly series analyzing the pursuit of the Triple Crown. This week's episode includes recaps of the Fountain of Youth and Sham, a focus on Stardom Bound - comparing her to Winning Colors, a look at the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes, and a preview of the Gotham.
Trainer Julio Canani insists he doesn't have Derby fever yet. But after the way his The Pamplemousse glided to victory as the 1-2 choice in the $200,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Feb. 28, that's going to be more difficult to believe as time marches on toward the first Saturday in May.
The Pamplemousse, who knocked off favored Square Eddie by two lengths in winning the San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) last month, heads a dozen 3-year-olds entered for the $200,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Feb. 28.
Sham Stakes winner Colonel John, one of the favorites for the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and a major Triple Crown contender, worked six furlongs in 1:10.80 March 31 at Santa Anita Park.
Odds-on choice El Gato Malo fell from the ranks of the unbeaten when Colonel John held the closer off in the final furlong to win the $200,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 1.
On Jan. 19, after Eoin Harty sent Colonel John out for his first recorded workout of the year, he said he'd crank him up from there for the Grade III Sham Stakes. Now it's time to see how hard the crank's been turned.
West Point Thoroughbreds' El Gato Malo puts his unbeaten record on the line against Colonel John and five others in the $200,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita March 1. Another entrant, Coast Guard, will be scratched due to a minor ankle injury.
Undefeated Triple Crown contender El Gato Malo worked six furlongs at Hollywood Park Feb. 15 in a bullet 1:11 4/5, while across town at Santa Anita, Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) winner Crown of Thorns turned in a leisurely drill. The pair is headed for a showdown in the 1 1/8-mile Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita on March 1.
Bob and John, owned by Stonerside Stable, is set to receive the "Aiken, S.C., Trained Horse of the Year" award March 18 at the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. The public is invited to attend.
Ravel made an auspicious stakes debut in Saturday's $101,500Sham Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds, rallying on the outside of favored Liquidity to register a one-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile event at Santa Anita.
What an odd grade III race the Sham is. There's a maiden coming in off a 13-day break, a horse that broke its maiden in its second and most recent start, a $7,000 horse with enough earnings already to assure it of a berth in the Kentucky Derby, a turf runner switching to the dirt, and an invader from New Mexico. Let's try to figure out what is and isn't a sham here.
Paul Reddam's Liquidity, who nearly pulled off a 15-1 upset in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) Dec. 16, takes on a strong group of up-and-coming 3-year-olds in Saturday's $100,000 Sham (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
There was never much doubt in Saturday's $102,500 Sham Stakes (gr. III) as the Bob Baffert-trained Bob and John finally got his first stake victory with little suspense at Santa Anita Park.
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