The Sham Stakes Tipsheet

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January 3rd, 2020

Santa Anita will play host to the $100,000 Sham (G3) on Saturday. The mile test is for 3-year-olds and is part of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby series, with a 10-4-2-1 points structure going out to the top four finishers.

Top Sham Stakes Picks

 ● Azul Coast
 ● Authentic
 ● Zimba Warrior
 ● Taishan

 ● $20 Exacta 4 with 1
 ● $5 Trifecta 1,4 with 1,4 with 2,6

The Sham Stakes Contenders

#1 AUTHENTIC broke his maiden on debut at Del Mar when forwardly placed and edging clear late in a sharply run race. The $350,000 son of Into Mischief draws inside for his stakes debut, and the Kentucky-bred has trained in smart fashion in advance of today. Bob Baffert-trained bay is bred for the distance and he will be forwardly placed from the opening bell under Van Dyke.

#2 ZIMBA WARRIOR enters the Sham with five races under his belt for conditioner Keith Desormeaux. Florida-bred son of Khozan has been steadily improving throughout his career, evidenced by third-place results in both the Bob Hope (G3) and Sunny Slope S. most recently. Chestnut could appreciate the added ground today with Jose Valdivia Jr. in the controls.

#3 UNCAPTURED HERO broke through with a game win going a mile at Del Mar over $100,000 claiming foes last time out. The Richard Baltas trainee comes in fresh for his local debut, and the colt might be the one to catch in the early stages with a clean break. Flavien Prat inherits the mount.

#4 AZUL COAST was a stylish winner at first asking going a route of ground at Los Alamitos. The $320,000 son of Super Saver closed with fine energy in his first performance, and the two morning works in the interim indicate that he will be ready to roll on Saturday. The top prospect will be coming from off the pace beneath Joel Rosario.

#5 SCORING was elevated to first in a 4 1/2-furlongs debut on this course in the summer. Doug O'Neill pupil has trained forwardly while preparing for his stakes bow, and the son of Justin Phillip could be a forward presence while coming in fresh off the layoff. The Kentucky-bred wildcard will have Abel Cedillo in the stirrups.

#6 TAISHAN is an interesting contender as one of two for conditioner Richard Baltas in the compact field. The $150,000 son of Twirling Candy was a maiden winner on the surface and at the distance last time out, and his outside post draw will give pilot Aaron Gryder options from the start. Kentucky-bred will contend with another step forward while making his stakes debut.