Friday, January 8, 2016

Sham Stakes Racing Roundup

©2016 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

The “Road to the Kentucky Derby” takes us to California, Saturday, where Collected will go to the starting gate as the 3-1, morning-line favorite in the $100,000 Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
With just two career starts, Collected comes into this race for Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert off a maiden win and a second-place finish in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (G3) to Dressed in Hermes who’s also entered in this race as the second choice at 7-2 odds. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

DRESSED IN HERMES stalked the pace outside, went three deep on the second turn and into the stretch, rallied under some left handed urging to gain the lead in deep stretch and proved best. COLLECTED between horses early, stalked a bit off the rail, bid between foes leaving the second turn to gain the lead, inched clear in the stretch but could not hold off the winner.

Evidently, the odds maker thinks that Collected can turn the tables on Dressed in Hermes in this race. Whether or not happens, I look for him to be a potential pace factor and to run a good race.
Collected is a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd and he has a low Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®. However, his Behavior Index indicates that he has the potential to be competitive.
City Zip, the sire of Collected, was an good sprinter as a two year old, winning the Tremont Stakes (G3), Sanford Stakes (G2), Saratoga Special (G2) and the Hopeful Stakes (G1). However, as a three year old on the 2001 Kentucky Derby Trail, his best finish was a third place to Songandaprayer in the 8½-furlong Fountain of Youth Stakes (G1).
Despite his propensity for sprinting, at stud City Zip has sired his share of numerous, good, sprinters as well as several middle-distance runners such as Acting Zippy, Dayatthespa, With a City and Personal Diary.
Dressed in Hermes comes into this race for trainer Janet Armstrong with a 2-0-1 record in five starts. He broke his maiden last October in the Zuma Beach Stakes at this same track.
In the Cecil B. DeMille, Dressed in Hermes was in sixth place at the half and began to move up to take command in the stretch and win easily by 1¼ lengths.
Dressed in Hermes is a sire-line descendant of the Royal Charger Ancestral Herd and he has a C Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®.
Hat Trick, a son of Sunday Silence and the sire of Dressed in Hermes, was a champion sprinter, miler that raced in Japan. He did not race until May of his three year old season. However, the wait to get him to the track was worth it as he won four of his five starts that year.
As a four year old, Hat Trick stepped up to stakes competition, winning four of eight starts including the Sports Nippon Sho Kyoto Kimpai Handicap, Tokyo Shimbun Hai, Mile Championship (G1) and the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (G1).
Jockey Mike Smith retains the mount on Dressed in Hermes and I look for the pair to run a good race.
Let’s Meet in Rio is an interesting lukewarm long shot at 6-1 morning line odds. He’s also trained by Baffert and comes into this race with a maiden win in three starts.
In his first two races, Let’s Meet in Rio struggled finishing off the board. He finally broke his maiden in his third start, running a mile at Los Alamitos Race Course in 1:36.39. Here’s a look at the video and chart call of that race:

LET'S MEET IN RIO stalked the pace inside then a bit off the rail on the backstretch, came out on the second turn and four wide into the stretch, rallied under urging then steady handling late to be along in time.

Let’s Meet in Rio trailed six lengths off the leaders entering the far turn and continued with good energy to take the lead in the stretch and score the easy win over Laoban (15-1) who is also entered in this race.
Let’s Meet in Rio is a sire-line descendant of the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and he has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®. He’s yet to live up to his breeding, however, he’s off to a good start with a maiden win in his racing season as a three year old.
Flatter, the sire of Let’s Meet in Rio, was a decent middle-distance horse who competed, mostly, in maiden and allowance races. In his only stakes start he finished third in the 8½-furlong Washington Park Handicap (G2). But in six starts, Flatter compiled a 4-0-1 record and was a winner from 7½-furlongs to 9-furlongs.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux retains the mount and I look for them to run a good race.
Imalreadythere (5-1) and Semper Fortis (8-1) could be a factor in this race, but I’m not took keen of either of them for the win.

Under the points system implemented by Churchill Downs to determine which horses will qualify to enter the Kentucky Derby starting gate, the winner of the Sham Stakes (G3) will receive 10 points, the second-place finisher will receive 4 points, the third-place finisher will receive 2 points and the fourth-place finisher will receive one point. Here’s a look at the current top twenty Derby qualifiers:


Rank, Horse, Points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Nyquist, 30, Doug O’Neill, $1,580,000
2. Exaggerator, 16, Keith Desormeaux, $940,000
3. Brody’s Cause, 14, Dale Romans, $500,000
4. Mor Spirit, 14, Bob Baffert, $246,800
5. Flexibility, 4, Chad Brown, $220,000
6. Swipe, 12, Keith Desormeaux, $597,130
7. Airoforce, 10, Mark Casse, $444,080
8. Greenpointcrusader, 10, Dominick Schettino, $300,000
9. Mohaymen, 10, Kiaran McLaughlin, $300,000
10. Cocked and Loaded, 10, Larry Rivelli, $280,840
11. Riker, 10, Nicholas Gonzalez, $182,375
12. Sunny Ridge, 8, Jason Servis, $355,600
13. Rated R Superstar, 6, Ken McPeek, $80,200
14. Toews On Ice, 4, Bob Baffert, $228,400
15. Vorticity, 4, James Lawrence II, $100,000
16. Kasseopia (GB), 4, Charlie Fellowes, 22,809
17. Harlan Punch, 2, Tom Amoss, $138,000
18. Hollywood Don, 2, Peter Miller, $96,250
19. I’malreadythere, 2, Jerry Hollendorfer, $86,000
20. Mo Tom, 2, Tom Amoss, $68,326

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