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Old 02-27-2008, 06:42 PM   #7
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Default This Weekends Derby Prep Entries
The Grade II Robert B. Lewis and the Sham Stakes swapped positions on the calendar this year, with the 1 1/8-mile Sham moved from early February to early March; and the 1 1/16-mile Lewis moved from early March to early February.

Santa Anita
Race 7
Grade III Sham Stakes
Post Time: 6:00 ET
Purse: $200,000
Distance: 1 1/8 Mile
Surface: Synthetic

Post Horse ML Jockey Wt Sx M Trainer

1 El Gato Malo David Flores 120 G Craig Dollase - Big favorite and just might be very beatable.

2 Success Fee Michael Baze 116 C Doug O'Neill

3 Coast Guard Rafael Bejarano 116 C David Hofmans - A very good young colt that will get better as time passes and deserves a long look in this race at a price.

4 Trevor's Clever Tyler Baze 116 C Ted West

5 Victory Pete Joseph Talamo 116 C Alexis Barba

6 Colonel John Garrett Gomez 118 C Eion Harty - Is suppose to be sitting on a big effort and was told this one hasn't ran his best as of this date. Let's see on Saturday will probably be a overlay in this field.

7 Reflect Times Mike Smith 116 C John Shirreffs - The suppose wise guy horse in Cali, not really big on this one myself but pleny are let's hope he takes some change and pushes other upward in odds.

El Gato Malo, Colonel John Lead Sham Field

Posted Feb. 27, 2008

Craig Dollase will send out undefeated 3-year-old El Gato Malo (Looking Good) for West Point Thoroughbreds in the eighth running of the Grade III Sham Stakes, while Eion Harty has Colonel John (Looking Good) making his first start of the year in the 1 1/8-mile race.

El Gato Malo, a Kentucky-bred son of El Corredor, blew by the field in the stretch to win the Grade III San Rafael Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths in his most recent start. The January win came after the gelding took his 2-year-old debut by 5 1/2 lengths and the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields by 4 1/4.
David Flores returns to ride El Gato Malo for the second time--the bay was handled by Patrick Valenzuela last year. El Gato Malo will be the 120-pound highweight among seven starters in Saturdayís race.

While El Gato Malo has more recency, WinStar Farmís Colonel John brings a little more experience into the Sham. The homebred son of Tiznow won two of his four starts, with two seconds, last year. He's not raced since a strong second-place showing to Into Mischief (Looking Good) in Hollywood Parkís Grade I CashCall Futurity on Dec. 22. Garrett Gomez replaces the injured Corey Nakatani aboard Colonel John.

Harty has called Colonel John the complete package. Should the colt go forward, he'd be entered in the Kentucky Derby off two starts this year.

Reflect Times, a Japanese-bred trained by John Shirreffs, has shown the ability to close going around one turn. His most recent race, and his first around two turns, was the Grade II Robert B. Lewis on Feb. 2.

In the Lewis, Reflect Times sat behind more moderate fractions than he'd experienced in his two prior races and edged out Indian Sun (Worth Watching) for third, beaten 6 1/4 lengths by the now-sidelined Crown of Thorns. Mike Smith returns on Reflect Times.

Second in the Lewis was Coast Guard (Worth Watching), trained by David Hofmans. Coast Guard used a forwardly-placed running style and stayed on well for the place in the Lewis, his first race of 2008. Last year, Coast Guard broke his maiden in his third start going a mile at Santa Anita on Dec. 29. He led all the way to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Rafael Bejarano will handle the reins.

Through Monday, Gomez led the meet standings at Santa Anita with 41 wins, closely followed by Bejarano with 40. Flores was next in line with 31 wins.

Success Fee (trained by Doug O'Neill, ridden by Michael Baze), Trevor's Clever (Ted West, Tyler Baze) and Victory Pete (Alexis Barbra, Joe Talamo) round out the Sham Field.

Sham Honors 1973 Santa Anita Derby Winner

"I think it's terrific that the Sham has become one of the more important races leading up to the Santa Anita Derby, because it's named after one of the best colts to ever run in California, in my opinion," HRTV commentator Jon White said.

"Early in 1973, Sham won an allowance race at Santa Anita by six lengths over Table Run. Later that year, I saw Table Run race at Longacres. Table Run won all three of his races at Longacres that summer, including the Longacres Derby by nine lengths. He later became one of the most successful sires to stand in Washington. When Sham won the Santa Anita Derby by daylight over Linda's Chief and tied the stakes record, it was clear that he was the real deal.

"Few people remember that Sham actually did beat Secretariat once. After the Santa Anita Derby, Sham beat Secretariat in the Wood Memorial when neither of them won. Angle Light, a stablemate of Secretariat, won the Wood in a photo finish over Sham. Secretariat finished third. But then, of course, Secretariat went on to become the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, defeating Sham in all three races.

"If not for the misfortune of being foaled the same year as Secretariat, I think Sham quite possibly could have been a Triple Crown winner himself. He was that good. By the way, Sham and Secretariat had something in common besides both being very talented. They both were out of a Princequillo mare."

March 1: 1 1/16-mile John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, Turfway Park ($100,000)

Turfway Park
Race 11
John Battaglia Memorial Stakes
Post Time: 5:45 ET
Purse: $100,000
Distance: 1 1/16 Mile
Surface: Synthetic

Post Horse ML Jockey Wt Sx

1 Beneficiary Rex A. Stokes, III 115 C

2 Instill John McKee 121 C

3 Big Glen James Lopez 121 C

4 Mr. Harry William Troilo 115 C

5 Dixie Decison Dean Sarvis 115 C

6 Halo's King Jesus Castanon 115 C

7 Your Round Victor Lebron 115 C

8 Absolutely Cindy Orlando Mojica 116 F

9 Cherokee Triangle Miguel Mena 121 C

10 Best Buddy Brian Hernandez, Jr. 115 C

11 Briarwood Circle Patrick Husbands 115 C

Round Two for Big Glen, Your Round in Battaglia

Posted Feb. 27, 2008

The one-two finishers from the WEBN Stakes, Big Glen (Just In Case) and Your Round (Just In Case), return to contest the John Battaglia Memorial on Saturday at Turfway Park.

John T.L. Jones, Jr. & Bill Jones' Big Glen, trained by Frank Brothers, launched a run in the final quarter of the WEBN to prevail by a length and a quarter over an even harder-charging Your Round, who rallied from ninth. Jamie Lopez returns on Big Glen, while Victor Lebron rerides Your Round, owned by Katierich Stable.

But this is not a two-horse race by any means.

Mr. Harry, third in the WEBN, will be in the Battaglia as well. After a five-wide trip, he was passed late by the surging Your Round. Jockey William Troilo is back for the Battaglia.

While the fourth- and fifth-place finishers in the WEBN, U. S. Cavalry and Texas Fever, will sit out Saturday's race, Dixie Decsion, sixth in the prep, will give it another try with a new jockey, Dean Sarvis. Dixie Decision had a tight trip in the WEBN and will seek more running room in the Battaglia.

A co-highweight in the Battaglia, carrying 121 pounds, is Cherokee Triangle. He hasn't raced since struggling in the boggy conditions of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last October, followed by a similar effort on yielding turf in the Grand Canyon Handicap.

Based at the Churchill Downs Training Center, Cherokee Triangle has been training well, putting in six workouts since mid-January for trainer Mike Maker. The Battaglia will be the first non-turf race for Cherokee Triangle, whose standout career effort was a 10 3/4-length win--on firm turf--in the Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs in September.

Briarwood Circle comes into the Battaglia off a good synthetic track effort, albeit three months ago, when he was nosed out of the win in the Display Stakes at Woodbine. Patrick Husbands comes down from Canada to take this mount for trainer Mark Casse and nearby owner connections in Woodford Racing LLC.

Instill ships in from Chicago's Hawthorne Race Course. His last outing resulted in a fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park behind Liberty Bull, most recently third in the Grade III Southwest Stakes.

An interesting challenger in the Battaglia is Absolutely Cindy, a filly owned and trained by Ronald Kinmon. Victress of the Caressing Handicap at Churchill Downs last year, Absolutely Cindy will seek her her first win of 2008. In two starts this year, Absolutely Cindy was third to Bsharpsonata in the Tropical Park Oaks, followed by a distant sixth-place finish in the Grade III Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds on Feb. 9.

The rest of the field is comprised of Beneficiary, Halo's King and Best Buddy.
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