A multiple stakes winner on turf and most recently a close third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Doug O’Neill’s Mackinnon transitions to dirt as he heads a group of five newly minted sophomores going a flat mile in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. A qualifying race to the 2022 Kentucky Derby, the Sham winner will receive 10 qualifying points, with four to second, two to third and one point to the fourth place finisher.
A recent Grade III stakes winner going a one turn mile in New York, Bob Baffert’s Rockefeller will no doubt contend for favoritism in what will be his fourth career start.
Owned by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson’s ERJ Racing, LLC, Madaket Stables, LLC, out of the Scat Daddy mare Scat Means Go, Mackinnon will try the main track for the first time since a fourth place finish going 4 ½ furlongs in his debut six starts back on May 9 here at Santa Anita.
Third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths by Modern Games in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Nov. 5 at Del Mar, Mackinnon is a colt that has always trained well on dirt and will thus be given an opportunity to the early Derby waters on Saturday. Easily the leading money earner in the field with $327,860, Mackinnon has three one mile turf wins to his credit and is 6-3-1-1 overall.
A 2 ¼ length first-out maiden winner going six furlongs at Del Mar Aug. 28, Rockefeller was a well beaten fourth by his stablemate and eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Corniche in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes going 1 1/16 miles here on Oct. 1. Sent to Belmont Park for his third start, Rockefeller, who is by Medaglia d’Oro, out of the Speightstown mare Dance to Bristol, was off as the 4-5 favorite in the Grade III Nashua Stakes and he responded with 2 ¾ length win accomplished in gate to wire fashion.
Owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, Stonestreet Stables, LLC and Robert Masterson, Rockefeller, who was purchased for $750,000 out of the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, will be ridden by Flavien Prat.
Baffert will also be represented by Newgrange, a first-out maiden winner going six furlongs on Nov. 28 at Del Mar. By Violence out of the Empire Maker mare Bella Chianti, he’s owned Golconda Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, SF Racing LLC, Siena Farm LLC, Starlight Racing, Stonestreet Stables, LLC, Waves Edge Capital LLC, and partners and will be ridden back by John Velazquez.
THE GRADE III SHAM STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 10 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
- Mackinnon–Juan Hernandez–124
- Oviatt Class–Kent Desormeaux–120
- Newgrange–John Velazquez–120
- Rockefeller–Flavien Prat–124
- Degree of Risk–Umberto Rispoli–120
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Benoit Photo