Sham runs through Coliseum for January Road to the Derby Bonus Cash
Players that opted in to TwinSpires.com's January Road to the Derby Bonus Cash offer earlier this week and backed the winning favorite Mind Control in Tuesday's $150,000 Jerome at Aqueduct will receive a $10 bonus after placing $20 Win wagers on the remaining three Kentucky Derby (G1) preps this month. As Mind Control paid $5, a $20 Win bet returned $50. Add $10 to that, and backers essentially got a 2-1 price rather than 3-2. My selection, Our Braintrust, was second best in the Jerome, so I'll be receiving 20 percent of my wager back later this month. Saturday's $100,000 Sham (G3) at Santa Anita is the next Derby prep on the schedule and the next mandatory play in the January Road to the Derby Bonus Cash offer. A field of seven was entered, with the Bob Baffert-trained #5 COLISEUM the even-money favorite on the morning line. Off a 6 3/4-length debut win at Del Mar in November, the son of Tapit appears to have the most raw talent of anyone in the Sham field. That's not to say he's a cinch. #6 GUNMETAL GRAY (5-2) was second best to likely champion Game Winner in the American Pharoah (G1) prior to running a distant fifth to the same rival in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). The Baffert-trained #7 MUCH BETTER (6-1) has useful form outside of a poor try on soggy ground in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), while #2 GRAY MAGICIAN (4-1) impressively landed a Del Mar maiden in his two-turn debut. In the end, though, it's hard to side against what many consider one of the leading classic prospects from a five-time Derby- and two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer (he closed at 10-1 in the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool). I'll be placing my $20 Win bet on Coliseum in the hopes of getting a mild bonus on the final odds. If he starts at 1-1 and wins, the effective win payoff with the bonus is 3-2. If he dips to 4-5, the effective win odds will be 13-10. If he floats up to 6-5, the effective wins odds with the bonus would be 17-10.