Sham Stakes Preview

Outlaw Man shooting high in Sham

Outlaw Man will try a synthetic track and a stakes for the first time in Saturday's $150,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. While it may seem as if trainer Kenneth McPeek and his team are demanding a lot from the 3-year-old, their timing could be ideal.

The Grade 3 Sham Stakes lacks a standout and Outlaw Man could earn a spot in another Kentucky Derby prep with a strong effort.

"I've been around him since he was a young 2-year-old," assistant trainer Jordan Blair said. "He's more professional now than he's ever been. He's kind of getting it figured out.

"The reason we're pointing for this race is the distance. We can't pass on this opportunity."

Outlaw Man has never faced winners. By Forest Wildcat, Outlaw Man needed four races to beat maidens, finally doing so by a desperate nose in a maiden race on turf here on Jan. 27.

The Sham Stakes is run over 1 1/8 miles on the Pro-Ride synthetic track. While Outlaw Man has never raced on the surface, he works over it regularly. Plus, his maiden win on turf was over 1 1/8 miles.

For Saturday's race, Garrett Gomez has the mount on Outlaw Man, although Alex Solis, who was aboard for the maiden win, has continued to work the colt in recent weeks, Blair said.

"Alex breezed him the last couple of times, and the last work, when he went a half-mile in 48, he came back and sang a pretty happy tune," Blair said. "He looks good on it."

Outlaw Man is part of a field of 10 in the Sham Stakes. None of the runners has won a graded stakes. Nextdoorneighbor, the sharp winner of a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 24, is expected to go favored. Solis has the mount on Alphie's Bet, who was second in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes here on Dec. 26.

Kettle River, who has won his last two races, is entered in the Sham, trainer Eoin Harty said. Kettle River, the winner of an allowance race on Jan. 6, missed a week of training because of illness earlier this month, but has rebounded sufficiently, Harty said.

by Steve Andersen

On the California worktab

Hollywood Prevue S. (G3) winner AMERICAN LION (Tiznow), third in the Robert B. Lewis S. (G2) in his seasonal bow, covered four furlongs in :48 3/5 over the Pro-Ride at Santa Anita.

"I haven't decided what might be next," trainer Eoin Harty said.

Grade 2 queen WELL MONIED (Maria's Mon), third in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) most recently, traveled in :48 2/5.

Grade 2 veteran NOBLE COURT (Doneraile Court), fifth in the Impressive Luck H. last time, logged three furlongs in :37 4/5.

MACIAS (Purge), winner of the Baffle S. and Eddie Logan S. in his last two, completed five furlongs in 1:00 2/5.

Grade 3 queen SWEET AUGUST MOON (Malibu Moon), last of 11 in the Santa Monica H. (G1) following a layoff of nearly 10 months, finished in 1:00.

Grade 1-placed THIRD DAWN (Sky Mesa), last seen taking the Torrey Pines S. in September, zipped three-eighths in :35 4/5.

Oak Leaf S. (G1) runner-up ALWAYS A PRINCESS (Leroidesanimaux [Brz]), a close fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), sped five panels in a bullet :59 3/5.

Multiple Grade 1-placed WYNNING RIDE (Candy Ride [Arg]), far back in the Alabama S. (G1) when last seen logged four panels in :48 2/5.

Over the firm turf, Grade 1 victor THE USUAL Q. T. (Unusual Heat) completed five furlongs in 1:03 3/5 in advance of the March 6 Frank E. Kilroe Mile H. (G1). He trailed in the Sunshine Millions Classic most recently.

Multiple Grade 3 victor and Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner CALIFORNIA FLAG (Avenue of Flags) went six furlongs in 1:15. He was fifth in the Hong Kong Sprint (HK-G1) last time and is pointing for the Al Quoz (UAE-G3) at Meydan on March 27.

Grade 1 veteran MARSH SIDE (Gone West), a close seventh in the San Antonio H. (G2), worked seven furlongs in 1:29.

Stakes winner EVENING JEWEL (Northern Afleet), a nose second in the Las Virgenes S. (G1), traveled five-eighths in 1:02 4/5.

"I'm considering the (April 3) Providencia (S. [G2])," trainer Jim Cassidy said. "I could still try the (March 6 Santa Anita) Oaks (G1). We'll see what happens. Right now, it's 50-50."

Grade 1-paced ACCLAMATION (Unusual Heat), third in the Strub S. (G2), exercised in 1:01.

Multiple stakes victor LIBERIAN FREIGHTER (Bertrando), fourth in an allowance sprint to kick off 2010, went in 1:01 3/5.

English Group 3-placed FULL MANDATE (Ire) (Acclamation), eased in the Miesque S. (G3) in her U.S. debut, completed her six-panel move in 1:16 4/5.

Over the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park, Bayakoa H. (G2) winner ZARDANA (Brz) (Crimson Tide) breezed five furlongs in 1:04 2/5. She was fourth in the Santa Maria H. (G2) in her seasonal bow.

MR GRUFF (Mr. Greeley), idle since taking the San Simeon H. (G2) last April, went six panels from the gate in 1:12 4/5.



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