|The Sham Stakes is a 1 1/8
mile American flat horserace run in early March each year over dirt at
California's Santa Anita Park racecourse in Arcadia. It is open to
three-year-old thoroughbreds. Despite its unusual name, the Sham Stakes
is an official prep race for the Kentucky Derby and offers a purse of
When the race was launched in 2001, it was named after a dark brown
thoroughbred called Sham who famously won the 1973 Santa Anita Derby. In
the Derby Sham surprised everybody by triumphing over race favorite,
Linda's Chief, by 2 1/2 lengths. That same year Sham finished second to
the legendary Secretariat in the Kentucky Derby by 2 1/2 lengths. This
result was repeated in result and by length in the Preakness Stakes.
Despite starting the Belmont Stakes (the third and final race in the
Triple Crown series) neck and neck with Secretariat, Sham eventually
dropped back and ended up finishing last, while Secretariat went on to
win the race and the 1973 Triple Crown, becoming the first Triple Crown
winner in 25 years.
In terms of records, the fastest time the Sham Stakes has even been run
in was set in 2003 by Man Among Men in a time of 1:48.39. Top jockey
Victor Espinoza has won the Sham Stakes a record three rimes - in 2001,
2005 and 2006, while champion trainer Bob Baffert has won the race twice
- in 2001 and 2006. No owner has won the race more than once.