June 15, 2021

Gormley returns, American Anthem tries stakes foes in Sham

Gormley works with Chantal Sutherland up, Santa Anita Park. Photo by @CeciliaGPhoto/@horsephotosCom

Gormley didn’t fire in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), weakening to seventh as the 5-1 third choice, and Grade 1-winning colt will look to rebound when opening his 3-year-old campaign in Saturday’s $100,000 Sham (G3) at Santa Anita. The Kentucky Derby qualifier also serves as the highly-anticipated stakes bow for debut winner American Anthem.

Held at a mile, the Sham awards points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four respective finishers.

Gormley is the likely favorite among seven runners. A runaway winner first-time out in early September, Gormley followed with a three-length score in the October 1 FrontRunner (G1) at Del Mar, leading wire to wire for Kentucky Derby-winning conditioner John Shirreffs. The bay son of Malibu Moon shows four consecutive 5-furlong drills in preparation and retains the services of Victor Espinoza.

Related: Gormley upsets Klimt in eventful FrontRunner

American Anthem overcame post 11 to win a salty maiden special weight race in early December, rallying from just off the pace to score by a neck, and received a commendable 94 BRIS Speed rating. Trained by four-time Kentucky Derby victor Bob Baffert, the $435,000 2-year-old in training purchase hails from the first crop of Bodemeister and is out of the A.P. Indy mare Indy’s Windy, a half-sister to champion 3-year-old filly Banshee Breeze. Mike Smith takes over the reins on the well-regarded colt.

Term of Art has captured two of his last three starts, the lone setback being a ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The Doug O’Neill trainee broke his maiden three starts back and exits a victory in the off-the-turf Cecil De Mille (G3), both wins coming locally at a mile. Regular rider Joe Talamo will be up.

Turf maiden winner Colonel Samsen also has stakes experience, winning the December 3 Gold Rush on the Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields. He will make his first dirt attempt for Eoin Harty and adds the services of Flavien Prat.

Completing the line-up are last-out maiden winners Big Hit and Blabimir; and Bird is the Word, who is winless from five starts.

Santa Anita will also offer the $200,000 San Gabriel (G2) and $100,000 Las Cienegas (G3) on Saturday.

Grade 1 winner Ring Weekend, who exits a triumph in the November 26 Seabiscuit (G2) at Del Mar, heads a field of 12 turf runners in the San Gabriel at 1 1/8 miles.

Watch This Cat, who has shown a real affinity for the about 6 ½-furlong downhill course in her last two outings, will try to carry her winning ways forward at the stakes level against four Las Cienegas rivals.

Find free Entries and Programs here.

sham17

sangabriel17

lascienegas17