In 2020, the $100,000 Sham (G3) was won by Authentic, who went on to claim victory in the Kentucky Derby. The 2021 renewal of the one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race will take place on Saturday at Santa Anita Park, with 17 qualification points (split on a 10-4-2-1 basis) available to the top four finishers.

Medina Spirit
Total 1 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(94) when winning his debut at Los Alamitos.
Total Earnings:
$25,200
Owner:
Zedan Racing Stables
Breeder:
Gail Rice
Trainer:
Bob Baffert
Jockey:
Abel Cedillo
Sire:
Protonico
Dam:
Mongolian Changa
Color:
Dark bay/brown

Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Sham a record six times, and he'll saddle two starters in the 2021 renewal. His first representative is Medina Spirit, who sold for just $35,000 as a 2-year-old. Despite this inexpensive price tag, Medina Spirit delivered an impressive performance in his debut dashing 5 1/2 furlongs at Los Alamitos, dueling for the lead before kicking clear to win by three lengths. This effort produced a sharp 94 Brisnet Speed rating, and Medina Spirit is slated to remove his blinkers for the Sham, a winning move 33% of the time for Baffert. Medina Spirit looms as a logical contender to finish in the top three, even while stretching out significantly in distance.

Waspirant
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(81) when breaking his maiden at Del Mar.
Total Earnings:
$54,300
Owner:
Martin and Pam Wygod
Breeder:
Wygod Equine
Trainer:
John Shirreffs
Jockey:
Umberto Rispoli
Sire:
Union Rags
Dam:
Life Is Sweet
Color:
Chestnut

The first of two John Shirreffs trainees in the Sham field, Waspirant showed flashes of potential as a 2-year-old. After finishing fourth in his debut behind future graded stakes winners Dr. Schivel and Spielberg, Waspirant stretched out to a mile at Del Mar and promptly broke his maiden in determined fashion. But Waspirant failed to threaten when fourth against stakes company in the American Pharoah (G1), so it remains unclear whether he's capable of competing against this caliber of competition. On the bright side, Waspirant is a son of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Union Rags out of Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) winner Life Is Sweet, so he has the pedigree to improve with maturity.

Parnelli
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
3
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(90) when finishing second in a one-mile maiden race at Del Mar.
Total Earnings:
$67,600
Owner:
C R K Stable
Breeder:
Gainesway Thoroughbreds
Trainer:
John Shirreffs
Jockey:
Drayden Van Dyke
Sire:
Quality Road
Dam:
Sip Sip
Color:
Bay

The second Shirreffs runner finished second in his first three starts while facing such formidable opponents as Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Hot Rod Charlie and Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) winner Spielberg. Parnelli finally caught an easier field in a one-mile maiden race on Nov. 28 at Del Mar, and the result was impressive—Parnelli showed a new dimension tracking the pace before drawing clear under a hand ride to win by 5 3/4 lengths. Sold for $500,000 as a yearling, Parnelli isn't quite as fast as Medina Spirit and Life Is Good in terms of Brisnet Speed ratings. But the fact he's proven over a mile is encouraging, and the son of Quality Road is clearly progressing in the right direction.

Uncle Boogie
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
2
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(86) when winning his debut at Santa Anita.
Total Earnings:
$39,650
Owner:
Eric Homme
Breeder:
Pinky Mendoza
Trainer:
Andrew Lerner
Jockey:
Flavien Prat
Sire:
Ride On Curlin
Dam:
Rated Xtreme
Color:
Dark bay/brown

A son of Preakness (G1) runner-up Ride On Curlin, Uncle Boogie started off in the claiming ranks, overcoming a slow start to win his debut in a $32,000 maiden claiming race at Santa Anita. But the Andrew Lerner trainee subsequently showed encouraging form against tougher company, finishing second in both an allowance race and the Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar. Uncle Boogie has never run farther than 7 furlongs and will face his stiffest test to date in the Sham, but a spot on the board isn't out of the question for this improving late runner.

Life Is Good
Total 1 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(100) when dominating his debut at Del Mar.
Total Earnings:
$34,200
Owner:
CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm
Breeder:
Gary and Mary West Stable
Trainer:
Bob Baffert
Jockey:
Mike Smith
Sire:
Into Mischief
Dam:
Beach Walk
Color:
Bay

The early favorite for the 2021 Kentucky Derby looked like a superstar in his debut sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar. With Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in the saddle, Life Is Good raced to the front through fast fractions of :21.80 and :44.84, then drew off under minimal urging to dominate next-out maiden winner Wipe the Slate by 9 1/2 lengths. This eye-catching effort produced an excellent 100 Brisnet Speed rating, which easily tops the Sham field. Trained by Bob Baffert, the son of two-time leading sire Into Mischief has been training up a storm in preparation for the Sham and clearly possesses a world of talent. He'll be tough to beat at a short price.