With the Jerome Stakes being delayed due to brutally frigid temperatures in the northeast, racing fans will turn their attentions to the southwest in order to get their 2018 Kentucky Derby trail fix. The 2018 Sham Stakes will offer a 10-4-2-1 point split to the top-four finishers along with a share of the $100,000 purse. This was the same race that Gormley won last season on route to winning the Santa Anita Derby, so it’s a solid race to determine who might be the best horse on the California based circuit for three-year-old colts.
The most intriguing entry in the 2018 Sham Stakes is My Boy Jack, a turf runner who is literally changing course after finishing 7th in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Trainer Keith Desormeaux noted that, “He was wide the whole way and made a strong, strong move on the far turn and through to the stretch. I think we checked out the Trakus deal and he got beat three lengths, but he ran 56 feet farther than the winner. You take that away and you’re in front.” It’s a sheer gamble to see if My Boy Jack is worth his weight on the faster dirt surface, but this is the time of the year to figure that out.
My Boy Jack was purchased for just $20,000 as a yearling so the potential that Desormeaux has earmarked him with is pretty astounding. This Creative Cause colt could certainly steal the show on Saturday afternoon.
The biggest threat to spoil My Boy Jack’s plans of playing spoiler is McKinzie, the blazing fast Street Sense colt that won the 2017 Los Alamitos Futurity in style. Now undefeated in two attempts, McKinzie is rocketing up the charts and is already pointing out as the favorite to take the Santa Anita Derby. The hype is real with this one but he has plenty to prove on the long road to the Triple Crown. He is expected to open as the favorite.
Also in the mix will be All Out Blitz, a recent winner at 6 furlongs at Los Alamitos in a maiden special weight. He has seemingly grown in to his own as a bit of a sprinter, making him a nominal choice for a mile but might be a more difficult decision at greater distances. All Out Blitz was clocked at 1:09.25 over 6 furlongs.
Rounding out the field are Mourinho, who finished 2nd in the Bob Hope Stakes and Here Is Happy who finished 7th in that same race. Shivermetimbers is a well regarded flier bet who trains out of Del Mar. Meanwhile City Plan is making a step up in grade after winning the listed Gold Rush Stakes at the end of last season.
2018 Sham Stakes – Saturday, January 6th at Santa Anita
1 Mile – 3 Year Olds – $100,000
|1||My Boy Jack (KY)||Kent J. Desormeaux||120||J. Keith Desormeaux||–|
|2||Here Is Happy (OH)||Joseph Talamo||120||Craig Anthony Lewis||–|
|3||All Out Blitz (KY)||Tyler Baze||120||Simon Callaghan||–|
|4||Mourinho (KY)||Drayden Van Dyke||120||Bob Baffert||–|
|5||Shivermetimbers (KY)||Flavien Prat||120||Jerry Hollendorfer||–|
|6||McKinzie (KY)||Mike E. Smith||124||Bob Baffert||–|
|7||City Plan (KY)||Tyler Conner||122||Eoin G. Harty||–|