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Talented Coliseum to face six in Santa Anita's Sham Stakes



Photo: Zoe Metz Photography

Bob Baffert-trained Coliseum and Jerry Hollendorfer’s Gunmetal Gray head a field of seven sophomores going a flat mile in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. The Sham, named for the winner of the 1973 Santa Anita Derby who was subsequently second to the immortal Secretariat in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, will provide the winner with 10 qualifying points toward the 2019 Kentucky Derby.

Owned and bred by Godolphin, LLC Coliseum made his highly anticipated debut this past Nov. 17 at Del Mar, and he responded with a rousing 6 3/4-length win going seven furlongs at odds of 1-2.  

Gunmetal Gray, who fetched $225,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale in Ocala, Fla., this past March, broke his maiden in his second start going one mile on Aug. 22. He was subsequently second to Baffert’s Game Winner in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) on Sept. 29 and was again well beaten by Game Winner, finishing fifth, beaten 12 ½ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

 

Owner: Godolphin, LLC

Trainer: Bob Baffert  

After many years of taking the Dubai route to Churchill Downs, Godolphin has enlisted the services of Baffert in the hope he can lead them to the promised land at long last on the first Saturday in May. A gray colt by Tapit, out of the Menifee mare Game Face, Coliseum was bred in Kentucky by his owner and should relish the extra furlong on Saturday. Coliseum looms strictly the horse to beat with Joe Talamo back aboard.   

 

GUNMETAL GRAY

Owner: Hollendorfer, LLC, Pearl Racing & West Point Thoroughbreds

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer  

Well beaten in his six-furlong debut July 29, this Kentucky-bred colt by Exchange Rate relished the stretch out to a mile on Aug. 22 at Del Mar, winning by 6 3/4 lengths under Drayden Van Dyke. With Flavien Prat taking over, Gunmetal was a good second, beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Game Winner in the mile and one sixteenth American Pharoah, a race in which he earned a 90 Beyer Speed figure, his best “number” in four juvenile starts. With Mike Smith taking over for the first time in the Sham, his connections are hoping Gunmetal Gray’s experience will give him a competitive edge as he faces Coliseum for the first time.

 

SHAM STAKES JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER  

Race 9 of 10 (approximate post time 4 p.m. PT)

1. Sueno—Kent Desormeaux—120
2. Gray Magician—Flavien Prat—120
3. Savagery—Joel Rosario—120
4. Easy Shot—Rafael Bejarano–120
5. Coliseum—Joe Talamo—120
6. Gunmetal Gray—Mike Smith—120
7. Much Better—Drayden Van Dyke–120



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