The road to the $ 1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 8 will have its first graded stop on Saturday at Santa Anita, as Grade I winning Gormley and recent first-out maiden winner American Anthem head a group of seven newly turned 3-year-olds in the Grade III, $ 100,000 Sham Stakes, to be contested at a flat mile.
GORMLEY: A 4 1/4-length first-out maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs on Sept. 4 at Del Mar, this John Shirreffs-trained colt by Malibu Moon took Santa Anita’s Grade I, 1 1/16 miles FrontRunner Stakes by three lengths in gate to wire fashion on Oct. 1 at odds of 10-1. Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, he bobbled at the start and suffered his first loss when well beaten in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 5. Idle since, he’ll again get the services of Victor Espinoza, who’s been aboard for all three of his starts.
AMERICAN ANTHEM: Trained by Bob Baffert, he made a solid run from off the pace to take his 6 furlong debut by a neck on Dec. 3 at Del Mar, earning a Sham-best last-out Beyer Speed figure of 86. A Kentucky-bred colt by Bodemeister, he’ll most likely be forwardly placed in his first spin around two turns. Bred in Kentucky by Winstar Farm, LLC and owned by Winstar and China Horse Club, he’ll be ridden for the first time by “Big Money” Mike Smith.
THE GRADE III SHAM STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS AND WEIGHTS
American Anthem—Mike Smith—119
Term of Art—Joe Talamo—124
Bird Is the Word—Gonzalo Ulloa—119
Colonel Samsen—Flavien Prat—121
Big Hit—Santiago Gonzalez—119
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