Sent to the gate as the overwhelming favorite at odds of 2/5, Goldencents passed tiring pacesetter Manando in deep stretch to win the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Saturday afternoon, taking a small step toward the 2013 Kentucky Derby in the process.
Bob Baffert's Manando broke well from the gate and had no intention of allowing the favorite to dictate the pace, setting solid splits through the first six furlongs in 23.00, 46.31 and 1:10.06. Goldencents stalked the lead from the second position before making his final move coming off the far turn, running alongside Manando for about a furlong before finally putting away his rival at the wire. Den's Legacy made a strong closing move along the rail and nipped Manando for second place.
Prior to the race, Greeley Awesome was scratched by trainer Doug O'Neill, leaving the Sham with a field of just five colts.
Goldencents is a 3-year-old son of Into Mischief out of a Banker's Gold mare (Golden Works), trained by 2011 Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O'Neill and ridden by Kevin Krigger.
Goldencents has won three races from four starts, with the only defeat of his career coming from a second-place finish to Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes.
The Sham Stakes is part of the official Road to the 2013 Kentucky Derby, a series of 37 races in which the top four finishers accumulate points to determine the 20 horses in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. Following the results of the Sham, Goldencents earned 10 points, while Den's Legacy, Manando and Dry Summer earned four, two and one points, respectively.
Below are the payouts, fractions and internal splits for the Grade 3 Sham Stakes.
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