Tipsheet: 2022 Sham Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

December 30th, 2021

A compact field of five sophomores will go postward in Saturday’s $100,000 Sham S. (G3) at Santa Anita. The one-mile test is a 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series event, with the top four finishers earning points on a 10-4-2-1 basis.

Sham Stakes Picks

  • #1 Mackinnon
  • #3 Newgrange
  • #2 Oviatt Class

Sham Stakes Wagers

  • $40 win 1
  • $5 exacta key box 1 with 2,4

Sham Stakes Contenders

#1 MACKINNON finished a huge third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last time out for trainer Doug O’Neill. The chestnut son of American Pharoah moves to the dirt for this one, but I believe the dual stakes winner will thrive on the surface switch on Saturday. Regular jock Juan Hernandez will be in the stirrups.

#2 OVIATT CLASS made a belated run to place fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) most recently for trainer Keith Desormeaux. The talented late-runner is Grade-1 placed on the surface, and the Virginia-bred son of Bernardini will be the one to hold off down the stretch with his customary big finishing burst. The trainer's brother Kent Desormeaux has the ride.

#3 NEWGRANGE drove home a solid debut sprint winner at Del Mar and will make his stakes and route debut in this spot for Bob Baffert. The Violence colt is bred to run long, and while he gives up a lot of seasoning to his foes on Saturday, I consider him to be a major player here. The dark bay put in a smart five-furlong drill most recently, and having John Velazquez in to ride him  is a major plus.

#4 ROCKEFELLER led at every call in posting a solid tally in the Nashua S. (G3) in his latest endeavor. The second from the Baffert shedrow has talent and speed, but he was outrun late in his lone prior try at Santa Anita and I will take a stand against him in this spot.

#5 DEGREE OF RISK owns a Grade 1 placing on turf and has proven to be a strong grassy and synthetic runner to date for trainer Eoin Harty. The Godolphin homebred is a question mark on the dirt, however, and I prefer to watch one on the surface from the talented son of Cairo Prince before backing him. Umberto Rispoli will have the assignment atop the stalker.