The road to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby begins Saturday at Santa
Anita as Goldencents
, an impressive gate to wire winner of the Grade
III, $1 million Delta Jackpot on Nov. 17, heads a field of six
3-year-olds in Saturday’s Grade III, one-mile Sham Stakes.
With his only setback being a second-place finish in the Grade I
Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 6, which was won by eventual
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner undefeated Shanghai Bobby, the
Kentucky-bred colt by Into Mischief has two wins from three starts.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, who sent I’ll Have Another out to
victories in last year’s Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness
Stakes, Goldencents has the look of another bona-fide derby prospect.
“He worked (six furlongs) in 1:10.20 last Thursday and if you
didn’t have a stop watch, you’d have thought he went in 1:14 or 1:15,
just cruising,” said O’Neill of his newest derby candidate. “I did have
a stop watch on him, and as I looked down and saw one-ten and change,
it was just, ‘wow!’ It was really amazing.
“He came out of it in great shape, full of energy, and it’s just
one day at a time. He’s got to stay injury-free but he’s a real
Owned by University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s
RAP Racing, WC Racing or Kenney, Goldencents will again be ridden by
regular pilot Kevin Krigger. His earnings stand at $722,000.
Bob Baffert will send out two talented colts in the Sham, Den’s
Legacy and Manando. Den’s Legacy, a winner of the Grade III Generous
Stakes at one-mile on turf on Nov. 24, came back to run third, beaten 3 ¾
lengths, in the Grade I CashCall Futurity on Dec. 15. Although he’s
shown speed in most of his races, he made a run from well off the pace
in the CashCall.
Owned by Westrock Stables LLC, Den’s Legacy has a record of
8-2-3-1, with earnings of $261,350. He will be ridden by Garrett Gomez,
who has been aboard in his last four starts.
A fast early pace would appear to be ensured with Baffert’s
Manando likely pressuring Goldencents early. The Kentucky-bred colt by
Bluegrass Cat exits a 5 ¼-length gate to wire maiden score at 1 1/16
miles, his first try going a route of ground. Manando has had three
works since his maiden win, including a half-mile in 46.20 on Dec. 22,
best of 74 drills that morning at Santa Anita.
Owned by Kaleem Shah, Manando is 4-1-0-3, with earnings of $46,440. Martin Garcia is back aboard for the Sham.
The complete field for the Sham, to be run as the third of nine
races on Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order:
Den’s Legacy, Garrett Gomez, 120; Goldencents, Kevin Krigger, 120;
Greeley Awesome, Mario Gutierrez, 118; Dry Summer, Joe Talamo, 118;
Dirty Swagg, Tyler Baze, 118, and Manando, Martin Garcia, 118.