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Sham: There may be a Derby horse on show
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-04-20 04:38:28 (First published: 2007-02-03 07:42:09 )

Santa Anita 3 February: It is not at all easy to say which one it is, but one gets the feeling that we will see a serious Kentucky Derby (G1) contender when seven three-year-olds clash in The Sham (G3) today.

This race is very interesting, not least since it is run over the same 9 furlongs at the Strub Stakes (G2).

Liquidity, a game runner-up to Stormello in the Hollywood Futurity (G1) last fall, may be the favorite – but a lot of money will also be down on the impressive maiden winner Ravel. Is one, or perhaps even both, a future star? Or can we be in for a minor upset in this event? Kolo could be the one to trouble them. Do not underestimate this stakes winning turf performer.


Santa Anita 3 February 2007 – 1 1/8 miles dirt

Runners ranked in order of handicapper’s
preference. Horses presented with sire and rider.

6 – LIQUIDITY (Tiznow) C Nakatani
1 – RAVEL (Fusaichi Pegasus) G Gomez
7 – KOLO (Dynaformer) J Valdivia Jr
4 – SILENT SOUL (Afternoon Deelites) R Migliore
2 – PIRATES DEPUTY (Bertrando) V Espinoza
5 – SONG OF NAVARONE (Sultry Song) J Court
3 – TIME SQUARED (Fusaichi Pegasus) J Leparoux

Liquidity was a good second to Stormello in the Hollywood Futurity (G1) over 8.5 furlongs at Hollywood Park in December, when Silent Soul was fifth and Notional was back in sixth. Notional reversed the form with Silent Soiul when winning the San Rafael Stakes (G2) next time, beating Tenfold (who was an odds-on loser here yesterday) by 4 lengths. Liquidity has been improving through his four races to date, and he will probably be tough to beat this time.

Ravel was impressive when winning his second start, racing with great zest just off the pace, before moving up smoothly to beat Level Red by 3 ½ lengths (level red came back to beat Time Squared). Ravel’s win was over 8.5 furlongs over the Cushion track at Hollywood Park on December 3, but there is no reason to doubt his ability to handle the Santa Anita surface. The layoff is probably also a minor factor, as this colt should be well forward for his seasonal debut.

Kolo was a game winner over Mystery Island and Law Breaker in the Eddie Logan over a mile on turf here in December. That event has produced two subsequent winners, and – although a far cry from what we see as a key prep on the Road to the Triple Crown, Kolo’s turf win was better than it appeared at the time. He broke his maiden over 8.5 furlongs and on breeding he is virtually guaranteed to stay further.

Interestingly, Law Breaker – who was a neck behind Kolo in the Eddie Logan – beat Level Red by ¾ length in a good allowance heat here in January. Level Red was no match for Ravel at Hollywood Park, but he had beaten Time Squared in between these races and has improved. This makes Kolo very interesting, agree?

Pirates Deputy came from well off the pace when winning the 7-furlong California Breeders’ Champion here in December. He got up to beat Tap it Light by a length, while receiving 2lbs from the runner-up (who is nothing special). He will be better over this trip, but Pirates Deputy is getting exposed now and makes little appeal.






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