The Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes is Santa Anita’s Saturday feature. The race drew a field of seven Kentucky Derby hopefuls after important points toward the first Saturday in May (10 points to the winner down to one point for fourth). Post time for the Sham, a one-mile dirt heat, is 5:34 p.m. EST. It goes as Race 5 on the program. In addition to watching and wagering, feel free to try out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#5 SHIVERMETIMBERS (7-2) is a steadily-improving son of Shanghai Bobby who recently graduated from the maiden ranks in his first try around two turns. That victory came over Peace, who broke his maiden over this course last week and is now regarded as a Derby contender. SHIVERMETIMBERS was soundly defeated by MCKINZIE in their only meeting to date, but the former took part in a pace duel while the latter was laid-back early. It’s reasonable to expect another small step forward for SHIVERMETIMBERS, which could put him over the top. Usual pilot Mike Smith lands elsewhere, but Flavien Prat picks up the assignment for Jerry Hollendorfer.
#6 MCKINZIE (3-5, morning-line favorite) is 2-for-2 lifetime after being promoted to first via DQ in the Los Alamitos Futurity. The decision was controversial, but he’s still run fast enough to be labeled a logical contender here. However, this Bob Baffert trainee will probably go off at short odds due to the large amount of hype he’s received during his brief career. As a result, he’s worth playing against to a certain degree. Hall-of-Famer Mike Smith will be in the irons.
#4 MOURINHO (4-1), Baffert’s other entrant, will likely make the pace of the Sham. He adds blinkers for his first two-turn heat despite demonstrating some distance limitations through three career tries. However, he does not have much to beat for third in this field. Drayden Van Dyke, who orchestrated a gate-to-wire upset in the Malibu aboard City of Light on Santa Anita’s opening day card, has the call.
The play: $6 win 5, $3 exacta box 5/6 ($12)
DFJ analysis: Flavien Prat appears to have several live mounts lined up this Saturday at Santa Anita. His day starts in Race 4, where he’ll climb aboard probable favorite Ever So True. Immediately following that, Prat will get a leg up on SHIVERMETIMBERS in the Sham. Four mounts follow SHIVERMETIMBERS, including Isotherm (7-2) in the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes.
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