Sham Kicks off Santa Anita’s Road to the Kentucky Derby

December 31, 2022

Newgrange won the 2022 edition of the Sham (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Santa Anita Press Release

ARCADIA, Calif.— The Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes scheduled for next Sunday, Jan. 8, marks the first stop on Santa Anita’s road to the 2023 Kentucky Derby.

A total of 19 soon-to-be 3-year-olds were nominated for the one-mile event, which awards Derby qualifying points on a scale of 10-4-3-2-1 to the top five finishers.

Trainer Bob Baffert accounts for nine of the nominees. Leading that group are National Treasure, who exits a third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; Havnameltdown and Newgate, the one-two finishers in the Grade III Bob Hope; and two-time turf stakes winner Speed Boat Beach, who was scratched from Friday’s Eddie Logan on turf.

Other intriguing nominees include multiple stakes winner Packs a Wahlop and Spun Intended, a flashy maiden winner last month at Del Mar for trainer Mark Glatt.

If Packs a Wahlop were to run, he would be trying dirt for the first time since his debut in June at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Jeff Mullins, the Creative Cause colt was subsequently moved to Southern California where he reeled off three-straight wins on grass including the Grade II Del Mar Juvenile Turf and Grade III Zuma Beach. Most recently, Packs a Wahlop tried the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf where he checked in eighth at Keeneland on Nov. 4.

The field for the Sham along with the remainder of Sunday’s card will be drawn on Thursday.

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