Today at Santa Anita, they run the Sham Stakes, the first Derby points race of 2018, as well as the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream. We’ll look at that race in our next post, but this one focuses on the Sham.
Let’s take a look at the field.
#1 My Boy Jack (12-1) – He drops out of the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf where he was hopelessly wide and made up some ground late, but he’s made five of his six starts on the grass. His lone dirt try was his debut, in which he did little running. That said, we can always forgive a debut and he’ll get some pace to run at here. He’s not a win candidate, but theoretically could impact things underneath.
#2 Here Is Happy (20-1) – He’s been a deep-closing sprinter and stretches out here. He’ll also get some pace but based on speed figures, he is seriously overmatched.
#3 All Out Blitz (10-1) – He looks like a pace factor stretching out to two-turns. He’ll have to stretch out to two-turns, and he’s probably not as fast as the other pace horses in here. We’re looking elsewhere.
#4 Mourinho (4-1) – Presumably named after one of the top soccer managers in the world, this speedy son of Super Saver makes his two-turn debut for Bob Baffert. He’s been very solid and was wired last time by Greyvitos (who came back to win the Springboard Mile at Remington, though his figure fell five points). He’s another that should be a part of the pace but has shown a willingness to stalk.
#5 Shivermetimbers (7-2) – This son of Shanghai Bobby does have two-turn experience, breaking his maiden going a mile at Del Mar last out. He broke slowly and rallied in his debut and that off-the-pace style might suit him today. The problem? He was dusted by McKinzie in their meeting on October 28th, which was McKinzie’s debut and his second start.
#6 McKinzie (3-5) – Baffert also trains this son of Street Sense who was an impressive debut winner on October 28th. He was a little flat while inside in the Los Al Futurity but was put up (a suspect disqualification at best). That they come out of a Grade 1 to run here in a $100k stakes race I’m sure is a vote of confidence. He’s obviously the horse to beat but will be too short a price to bet to win.
#7 City Plan (20-1) – Eoin Harty’s Godolphin longshot just looks too slow and overmatched to impact here.
We prefer Shivermetimbers to Mourinho – he has two-turn experience and is drawn a little better than Mourinho, so as an alternative to the short-priced favorite, we’ll play him to win and mostly with McKinzie in the exacta and with My Boy Jack in a few trifectas underneath.