BAFFERT HOLDS STRONG TWO-CARD HAND IN SATURDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 SHAM STAKES AS AUTHENTIC & AZUL COAST HEAD FIELD AT ONE MILE
WINNER TO RECEIVE 10 KENTUCKY DERBY QUALIFYING POINTS; FIRST POST TIME AT 11:30 A.M.
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2020)–Bob Baffert, a winner of five Kentucky Derbies and a pair of Triple Crowns, holds a strong two-card hand in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes as Authentic and Azul Coast head a field of six sophomores going one mile. The Sham, named for the winner of the 1973 Santa Anita Derby, will provide the winner with 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, with four to the runner-up, two to the third-place finisher and one to the fourth.
Trainer Richard Baltas is also well represented in the Sham, as his Taishan, an impressive one mile allowance winner here on Nov. 3, would appear to rate a huge chance in what will be his third career start.
Owner: SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stable, LLC
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Off as the 3-5 favorite in a field of six, this $350,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase pressed the pace and drew off to a 1 ½ length tally in his 5 ½ furlong debut at Del Mar on Nov. 9. A Kentucky-bred colt by Into Mischief, out of the Mr. Greeley mare Flawless, Authentic earned a Sham-best 87 Beyer Speed figure and has trained in impressive fashion for his second start on Saturday.
Owner: Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman
Trainer: Bob Baffert
A $320,000 Keeneland September Yearling by Super Saver, Azul Coast aired by four lengths on an off track in his one mile debut at Los Alamitos on Dec. 8 while off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven. Out of the Maria’s Mon mare Sky Treasure, Azul Coast gets the services of Joel Rosario as Drayden Van Dyke will ride Authentic back for a second time. Although he was a handy winner, Azul Coast earned a 75 Beyer and will likely go as the second choice in the Sham.
Owner: Calvin Nguyen & Joey Tran
Trainer: Richard Baltas
A respectable fifth in his six furlong debut Aug. 17 at Del Mar, he stretched out to a flat mile on Nov. 3 here at Santa Anita and responded with a solid one length maiden victory, earning an 81 Beyer while off at 3-1 in a field of six. A Kentucky-bred colt by Twirling Candy out of the Philanthropist mare Grace Phil, Taishan brought $150,000 at the Ocala Breeders March 2-year-old in Training Sale and looks like a colt with a bright future.
THE GRADE III SHAM STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 5 of 10 Approximate post time 1:30 p.m. PT
- Authentic–Drayden Van Dyke–120
- Zimba Warrior–Jose Valdivia, Jr.–120
- Uncaptured Hero–Flavien Prat–120
- Azul Coast–Joel Rosario–120
- Scoring–Abel Cedillo–120
- Taishan–Aaron Gryder–120
Special early first post time for a 10-race program on Saturday is at 11:30 a.m. Admission gates will open at 9:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.