Baffert Sends Out Pair in Sham at Santa Anita

Baffert Sham

A field of seven line up in Saturday’s Sham (G3) at Santa Anita. (Photo credit santaanita.com)

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sends out a pair of runners including the morning line favorite in Saturday’s $100,000 Sham (G3) at Santa Anita.

The Sham is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race, with 10-4-2-1 points up for grabs toward entry into this spring’s Run for the Roses.

Baffert, who has won three of the last editions of the Sham sends out Coliseum, who is the even money favorite on the morning line. The colt breaks from the five post with jockey Joe Talamo getting the return ride.

The colt started taking action in Kentucky Derby future betting before he made his debut. He drew off to break his maiden by 6 ¾ lengths at Del Mar going seven furlongs on Nov. 17. The colt is currently listed at 30-1 in Derby future wagering at USRacing.

Baffert also sends out Much Better (6-1), who was a troubled 14th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

Threats to the Baffert Duo

The biggest threat to the favorite is the Jerry Hollendorfer trained Gunmetal Gray (5-2), who was fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his last outing. He was second in the American Pharoah (G1) in his previous outing.

Peter Miller sends out a pair of runners. Gray Magician (4-1) ran huge breaking his maiden by 9 ¼ lengths in is fourth career start and first for Miller. Stablemate Savagery (10-1) checked in fourth and was disqualified to fifth in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) on Dec. 8. The colt was second in the Bob Hope (G3) two back.

Keith Desormeaux sends out a pair of runners as well. Sueno (20-1) won the Gold Rush at Golden Gate Fields in his last outing and Easy Shot (30-1) broke his maiden for a $80,000 tag in his fourth career outing.

At Gulfstream Park a field of six will line up in the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man led by Code of Honor from the Shug McGaughey barn.

The colt would have been a major player in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), but he spiked a fever on the morning of the race. He ran second in the Champagne (G1) in his last outing on Oct. 6.

The is 7-5 on the morning line for the Mucho Macho Man and is currently listed at 33-1 in early Derby betting at USRacing.

Let’s head out to Santa Anita for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Santa Anita

Santa Anita Race 9 The Sham (G3) Post time 4:04 PT

6 Gunmetal Gray   5-2

5 Coliseum   1-1

7 Much Better   6-1

3 Savagery   10-1

Gunmetal Gray

The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee was outrun early after breaking from the outside and made a mild late run to finish fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), beaten 12 ½ lengths behind the winner Game Winner.  Third place finisher Signalman and seventh pale finisher Mind Control have exited the Juvenile to win stakes in their next starts. Two back in the American Pharoah (G1) in his stakes debut our top pick tracked the early pace after bobbling at the break and was no match for game Winner in a runner up finish, beaten 4 ½ lengths. The $225,000 Ocala purchase is out of a stakes placed Include mare and has the experience edge over the chalk with three routes under his belt.

Coliseum

This colt was taking action in the Kentucky Derby future pools before he even made his debut and he did not disappoint. Sent off as the chalk in a field of six he took the field gate to wire and drew clear to win by 6 ¾ lengths. The Godolphin owned colt has a nice pedigree, by Tapit out of the stakes winner Game Face ($799,348). The colt has worked sharply in the mornings since his debut and certainly has the pedigree to handle two turns. Baffert is 39% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from spring to route ad n was lights out over the last six months of 2018 with juveniles. The main knock is this guy is likely going to be 3-5.

Much Better

This guy is also sent out by Baffert. The son of Pioneerof the Nile broke his maiden in his debut on the main track at Del Mar, then Baffert elected to move him to turf. He was a good second in the Zuma Beach and then had a rough trip in a 14th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) on yielding turf.  It is back to dirt here and he has been working sharply over the main track. Baffert is 24% winners with runners going from turf to dirt dating back three years. Looks like decent enough value if he goes off near his 6-1 morning line.

Wagering:

WIN: 6 to win at 5-2 or better.

EXACTA: 5,6 / 3,5,6,7 / 2,3,5,6,7

TRIFECTA: 6 / 3,5,7 / 2,3,5,7

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