In the Shadow of a Superhorse
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Sham and Secretariat and other Horse Race Announcements

(When viewing links on this page, use your browser's back button to return to this site.) News on Book Signings below!

Own the first book ever written on the life of Sham, the valiant horse that challenged Secretariat, titled:  SHAM, IN THE SHADOW OF A SUPERHORSE©2007 by Mary Walsh. 

Order now at Amazon and Blood Horse Magazine.  Also available in electronic form at Amazon.

And Sham's first Children's book Sham's Dream©2011written and illustrated by Mary Walsh. Order at Amazon and Blood Horse Magazine.

READ ABOUT SHAM'S GALLANT EFFORT IN THE 1973 KENTUCKY DERBY and his greatest unofficial record that still stands today:  "Running the second fastest Kentucky Derby in history."
AND SHAM'S LATEST VICTORY (39 YEARS LATER...) "Setting the second fastest Preakness Stakes record -
which was tied in 1985 by Tank's Prospect, in 1996 by Louis Quatorze, and in 2007 by Curlin. Both The New York Times and The Blood Horse explain Secretariat's now confirmed official stakes record of 1:53 - allotting Sham the unofficial record of 1:53 2/5 for 1973.
Read excerpts from Sham, In the Shadow of a Superhorse:
California Thoroughbred Magazine - 2007 October issue Sham
Did you know Sham was 16.2hh? He was a big horse with a big heart - more than twice the size of the average horse's 8.5 or 9 pound heart.
To clear up any confusion on this matter, Dr. Thomas Swerczek recently advised me that: "The weight of Sham's heart was 19 pounds. Sham's heart was the second largest heart I (Dr. Swerczek) have seen in a Thoroughbred race horse."
Tell me what you think about Sham and Secretariat in the Secretariat movie - visit my blog at Sham and Secretariat.

Sham and Secretariat:
Back in 1973:
Watch Sham in action (race video), and the trouble Twice a Prince (race video) causes prior to the 1973 Kentucky Derby.  See what Penny Chenery (video) has to say about Secretariat and Sham. Pictures and stories about race horse Sham and his jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. - click About Racehorse Sham page. Read Steve Haskin's blog on Sham.

The 2019 Triple Crown Challenge

2019 Sham Stakes Race
    Wow, you should take a look at this video of Gunmetal Gray and Mike Smith winning the January 5th Sham Stakes! They were last until the home stretch and won in 1:38.96. Nice race Story/Video.
2019 Santa Anita Derby Race:
     On April 6, Roadster and Mike Smith stormed to victory with a time of 1:51.28. If you missed the race, watch them come from the back of the field down the homestretch. Video. (Not close enough to break Sham's tied record of 1:47 though!)
2019 Kentucky Derby Race:
      What a race - read about disqualification of first place horse, Maximum Security, and declaration of Country House as Derby winner. Race/Video Story
2019 Preakness Stakes Race:
      May 18 also proved controversial with a loose horse from gate to wire. War of Will with Tyler Gaffalione up won in 1:54.34. If you missed the excitement, read the story and watch Video here.
2019 Belmont Stakes Race:
    On June 8, Sir Winston won in 2:28.30 with jockey Joel Rosario aboard. Check out the story and video here.
The 2018 Triple Crown WINNER! - Congratulations Justify:

2018 Sham Stakes Race:
   The January 6th race found McKinzie and Mike Smith winners in 1:36:58. Check out the story and video
2018 Santa Anita Derby Race:
    Justify with Mike Smith up, won the April 7th race in 1:49:72. If you missed it, read the story/video here.
2018 Kentucky Derby Race:
    Justify took the May 5th Derby with Mike Smith aboard in 2:04:20 which leaves Sham's Derby record untouched once again! Story/Video.
2018 Preakness Stakes Race:
    Justify and Mike Smith once again come up winners for the Preakness on May 19th in the fog - in 1:55:93. Perhaps a Triple Crown? Check it out Story/Video.
2018 Belmont Stakes Race:
    Justify and Mike Smith won the June 9th race in 2:28:18. We now have another Triple Crown winner, the 13th to be exact. Congrats to Justify and his team! Story/Video.
July, 2018 Retirement:
     Team Justify announce retirement to WinStar Farm to begin stud career. Story

The 2017 Triple Crown Challenge:

2017 Sham Stakes Race:
Gormley, with Victor Espinoza up, was the winner of the January 7th Sham Stakes race. His time was 1:35.89. See the replay here Video/Story.
2017 Santa Anita Derby Race:
Another win by Gormley/Espinoza in the April 8th Santa Anita Derby with a time of 1:51.16. Check it out Video/Story.
2017 Kentucky Derby Race:
Though Gormley tried, he couldn't beat Always Dreaming who won the May 6th Kentucky Derby with John Velazquez aboard in 2:03.59.If you missed it, watch it here Video/Story.
2017 Preakness Stakes Race:
    Cloud Computing with Javier Castellano up won the May 20 Preakness. Get the story/video here.
2017 Belmont Stakes Race:
On June 10, 2017, Tapwrit won the Belmont under jockey Jose Ortiz in 2:30.02. If you missed it, check out the story/video.

The 2016 Triple Crown Challenge:

2016 Sham Stakes Race:
On January 9, 2016, Collected won the Sham under jockey, Martin Garcia, in 1:38. Check out the Video/Story.
2016 Santa Anita Derby Race:
April 9, 2016, Exaggerator with Kent Desormeaux up, took the Derby in 1:49.66. If you missed it, watch it here Video/Story.
2016 Kentucky Derby Race:
   The race everyone waits for was run on May 7, 2016. The favorite, Nyquist, with Mario Gutierrez aboard, won in 2:01.31 which was almost 2 seconds faster than American Pharoah's 2015 win, and almost 3.5 seconds slower than Sham and Secretariat's duel. Video/Story.
2016 Preakness Stakes Race:
Exaggerator was the victor in 1:58.31, and Kent Desormeaux says he's ready for the Belmont after his colt's easy victory in the mud! Video/Story.
2016 Belmont Stakes Race:
    For the June 11, 2016 Belmont, Creator with Irad Ortiz Jr. up won the race in
2:28.51. Video/Story 

The 2015 Triple Crown WINNER! - Congratulations American Pharoah:

2015 Sham Stakes Race:
   On January 10, 2015, Calculator with jockey Elvis Trujillo aboard, won the Sham Stakes race in 1:34.88 by 4 1/4 lengths. Video
2015 Santa Anita Derby Race:
   Saturday, April 4. Dortmund raced to victory with Martin Garcia in 1:48.73 but didn't break Sham's tied record of 1:47. video/story
2015 Kentucky Derby Race:
   On May 2, 2015, American Pharoah won the race with Victor Espinoza aboard. The time was 2:03.02 which leaves Secretariat and Sham's records untouched for another year! Results
2015 Preakness Stakes Race:
    Here's another year that there's a chance for a Triple Crown winner as American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza won the Preakness on May 16! Time was slow 1:58.45 undoubtedly due to a downpour of rain. It proved American Pharoah is a mudder as he left the field 7 lengths behind. video/story
2015 Belmont Stakes Race:
    June 6, 2015 was "History in the making" as American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza won the Belmont Stakes race by 5 1/2 lengths in 2:26.65! American Pharoah breaks the Triple Crown drought since 1978 to become the 12th Triple Crown Winner! CONGRATULATIONS! Video and story.
2015 Haskell Invitational Race:
    August 2, American Pharoah with Victor Espinoza up won the Haskell Invitational in 1:47.95 with Keen Ice second. Video/story.
2015 Travers Stakes Race:
    August 29, American Pharoah finished second behind Keen Ice, only his second loss in eleven starts. Video/story.
2015 Breeders Cup Classic Race:
    October 31, American Pharoah proved himself a champion in his final race and retired on a win by placing first in the Breeders Cup Classic! His fans were thrilled and cheered him on with thunderous applause. Watch it again - video/story!
The 2015 Triple Crown Retires
    November 2, 2015, American Pharoah retired to stud at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Grand Slam's former stall. Congratulations American Pharoah! Story.

The 2014 Triple Crown Challenge:

2014 Sham Stakes Race:
    On Saturday, January 11, only four horses entered the starting gates. Midnight Hawk won the Sham Stakes race in 1:36.48 under Mike Smith. If you missed it, check out the video here.
2014 Santa Anita Derby Race:
Saturday April 5 was a winning day for California Chrome with Victor Espinoza up. Time was 1:47.52 which means Sham still holds his fast 1973 tied (with Lucky Debonair and Indian Charlie) record of 1:47. Watch the VIDEO.
2014 Kentucky Derby Race:
    California Chrome proved to be a great favorite and won the Kentucky Derby in 2:03.66 under Victor Espinoza on May 3 before 164,906 - the second largest crowd in Kentucky Derby history Video/Story. The time factor keeps Sham and Secretariat's fastest Kentucky Derby records holding strong another year!
2014 Preakness Stakes Race:
    California Chrome and Victor Espinoza took the second jewel of the Triple Crown by winning the Preakness in 1:54.84 on May 17. Video/Story. Hope we have a Triple Crown winner this year! Secretariat still holds the record for the Preakness at 1:53 (read story above), and Sham is still unofficially tied with Tank's Prospect, Louis Quatorze, and Curlin for second fastest Preakness.
2014 Belmont Stakes Race:
    No Triple Crown this year as Tonalist, with Joel Rosario up, beat California Chrome to the finish line on June 7. Time was 2:28.52, leaving Secretariat's Belmont record untouched. Video/Story

The 2013 Triple Crown Challenge:

2013 Sham Stakes Race:
    Goldencents was the horse that won the Sham Stakes on Saturday, January 5 at Santa Anita. He finished the race in 1:36.50 with Kevin Krigger aboard. (Story/Video)
2013 Santa Anita Derby Race:
Once again Goldencents wins in California under Kevin Krigger on April 6. Sham still holds his tied record for the Santa Anita Derby of 1:47 as Goldencents' time was 1:48.76. Goldencents is slated for the Kentucky Derby. (Story/video) 
2013 Kentucky Derby Race:
    May 4, 2013 proved to be a sloppy track but that didn't bother Orb one bit, winning the Derby in 2:02.89 with Joel Rosario aboard. Story/Video. Secretariat and Sham remain the first and second fastest Kentucky Derby horses.
2013 Preakness Stakes Race:
    Jockey Gary Stevens won the Preakness on Oxbow in 1:57.54, leaving Secretariat's record time of 1:53 and Sham's unofficial time of 1:53 2/5 intact. Video/story.
2013 Belmont Stakes Race:
    Palace Malice with Mike Smith up, took the Belmont from Oxbow and Orb in 2:30.70 video/story.

The 2012 Triple Crown Challenge:

2012 Sham Stakes Race:
    Saturday, January 9 - Out of Bounds, a 10-1 shot with Garrett Gomez aboard beat the favorite, Secret Circle, in this year's 1-mile Sham Stakes. It was the first Kentucky Derby prep race of the season. (USA Today story) (Blood Horse story/video).
2012 Santa Anita Derby Race:
    Run Saturday, April 7 was won by I'll Have Another with jockey Mario Gutierrez up Video/Story. He covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:47.88, so Sham keeps his tied 1:47 flat record intact for yet another year. Great Horse that Sham!
2012 Kentucky Derby Race:
    On May 5, I'll Have Another with jockey Mario Gutierrez won the Kentucky Derby in 2:01.83, SO SHAM'S UNOFFICIAL SECOND FASTEST KENTUCKY DERBY ONCE AGAIN STANDS FOR ANOTHER YEAR. If you missed it, here's the story/video.
2012 Preakness Stakes Race:
    On May 19, I'll Have Another beat Bodemeister for a second time. First the Kentucky Derby and now the Preakness video/story. Remind anyone of Secretariat and Sham in 1973?
2012 Belmont Stakes Race:
    On June 8 I'll Have Another was scratched because of tendinitis. Union Rags was the winner of the June 9 Belmont Stakes race with John Velazquez aboard video/story. I'll Have Another has been retired from racing.
2012 Breeder's Cup Races:
If you missed the races on November 4 and 5, check out the photos at The Blood Horse, they're on sale now.

The 2011 Triple Crown Challenge:

2011 Sham Stakes Race:
    This year the Sham Stakes race was run on Saturday, January 15. Racehorse Tapizar won the race under jockey Garrett Gomez story/video

2011 Santa Anita Derby Race:
    On April 9, Midnight Interlude with jockey Victor Espinoza up won the Santa Anita Derby race. His time was 1:48.66, which leaves Sham's tied record of 1:47 intact for another year! (video/story).  The Wood Memorial was run the same day this year and track announcer, Tom Durkin, said Uncle Mo's third place finish was "the most shocking defeat in the Wood since Secretariat himself." (Wood video/story)
2011 Kentucky Derby Race:
    Click the link if you missed the May 7 2011 Kentucky Derby race. Animal Kingdom with jockey John Velazquez up won in 2:02.04, and SHAM HOLDS HIS UNOFFICIAL TITLE AS SECOND FASTEST KENTUCKY DERBY HORSE IN HISTORY FOR ANOTHER YEAR. 
2011 Preakness Stakes Race:
     Shackleford wins the Preakness race with jockey Jesus Castanon up, beating Animal Kingdom by a half-length. Click the Preakness link above to watch the video if you missed the race.
2011 Belmont Stakes Race:
This year the date for the Belmont Stakes race is June 11, 2011. Looks like Animal Kingdom will challenge Shackleford in the Belmont to prove which horse is number one! Check out what The Blood Horse bloggers are saying about the horses. Belmont shocker: Long shot Ruler On Ice with jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. up, won the Belmont on a muddy track story/video.

Secretariat movie:
Walt Disney movie "Secretariat," scheduled to be released October 8, 2010.
Watch the Secretariat movie - first trailer (video) and Secretariat movie - second trailer (video).
2010 will be the year to release Secretariat: The Walt Disney Movie.  Check out the story, and some race photos from the movie.  Strange they don't mention Sham's name in the write-up, but he's prominent in the photos (the horse in green and gold silks running a close second to Secretariat). Time to read about the rivalry between Sham and Secretariat, their owners, trainers and jockeys.  Filming in Kentucky.  Penny Chenery 2009 Secretariat movie (video) about filming of Secretariat and Sham.  Steve Haskin blog on movie about Secretariat and Sham, also, pictures of Secretariat and Riva Ridge.
More Horse Movies to Get You Out of The Starting Gate, by Scott Bowles, USA Today. This article also includes 4 horse films to be released in 2011.

The 2010 Triple Crown Challenge

2010 Sham Stakes Race:

  This year the 1 1/8 mile Sham Stakes race was rained out on Saturday, February 27 at Santa Anita Park, CA, and rescheduled for Saturday March 6. Check out the horses here.
  Alphie's Bet won the Sham Stakes on March 6 by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:48.72 under jockey Alex Solis.
  Get an early look at some of the horses on the 2010 Kentucky Derby trail.  
2010 Santa Anita Derby Race:
  For the 1 1/8 mile Santa Anita Derby race run Saturday, April 3, the second favorite, Sidney's Candy, won in 1:48 (Story/Video).  That means Sham's 1973 win that tied the stakes record of 1:47 set by Lucky Debonair in 1965 (and duplicated by Indian Charlie in 1998) still stands today!
2010 Kentucky Derby Race:
  Looks like Sham's unofficial record for the second-fastest race time in the history of the Kentucky Derby remains intact once again!  On May 1, jockey Calvin Borel brought Super Saver home in 2:04.45.  If you missed it, check out the race video and story here.
2010 Preakness Stakes Race:
On May 15 Lookin At Lucky with jockey Martin Garcia up won the Preakness (story/video) in 1:55.47, which keeps Secrerariat's controversial record of 1:53 2/5 untarnished (Sham was right behind him in this race - identical to the Kentucky Derby).
 2010 Belmont Stakes Race:
With both Super Saver and Lookin At Lucky passing up their chance at winning the Belmont race, Drosselmeyer with jockey Mike Smith up, won this year's race on June 5 in 2:31.57.  Video/story

Zenyatta and Ruffian:

Did you miss my article about the legendary "Queen of Racing" horse, Ruffian?  Read it now:
Ruffian Comes to the Screen, by Mary Walsh
California Thoroughbred Magazine - 2007 June issue Ruffian

2010 Horse of The Year Eclipse Award goes to Zenyatta! Pictures here.
2010 race horse Queen:  Zenyatta
Could there ever be another mare to rival Ruffian? I don't think so. However, at 6 years old the mare Zenyatta is breaking race records of her own. I was fortunate enough to be at Hollywood Park, CA, on October 2 watching Zenyatta swoop down the homestretch to win the Lady's Secret Stakes race under jockey Mike Smith. That excitement was truly the thrill of a lifetime. Apparently Penny Chenery was also present in that cheering crowd. If you missed it, check out the story and video here.
Looks like Zenyatta is pointed toward the Breeder's Cup Classic race on November 6, 2010.
Even though Zenyatta lost the Classic to Blame (video/story), she proved herself a Champion with 19 wins and 1 second against the boys that was so close a viewer said "...she could have won had she stuck out her tongue." She certainly deserves a wonderful retirement for her terrific efforts, and perhaps, Horse of the Year honors for 2010.
The Blood Horse is honoring Zenyatta with a special Commemorative Collector's Issue in their November race magazine. For nonsubscribers to The Blood Horse, click here for more information on obtaining Zenyatta's Commemorative.
Race Horse Zenyatta now retired.
Retirement Ceremony at Hollywood Park Dec. 5/10

Retired at Lane’s End Farm Dec. 6/10

First led to paddock Dec. 9/10 Versailles, KY

Zenyatta in foal to Bernardini.

Zenyatta's little dark bay colt was born on March 8, 2012, in Lexington, KY. Read the happy horse story!

Book Signings:

Watch here for my next booksigning event.  Hope to see you there!

  Thanks to everyone who came by Champions! Gift Shop before the races on February 28, 2009, at Santa Anita Park.  It was my pleasure to talk about the magnificent SHAM with you.  It was also wonderful to meet jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. (Sham's jockey - a busy guy who's hard to get a hold of) and leave a signed book for him.  Laffit smiled when I mentioned Sham and told me "He [Sham] was a great horse."  I have since heard that Laffit was thrilled to receive his copy of SHAM at his book signing on
March 7.
  Unfortunately, I was never successful in my attempts to obtain interview commitments from either Laffit or Frank Martin (Sham's Trainer). Losing to Secretariat must have been devastating as both men had a fierce passion for winning.  Laffit's life was in turmoil after the 2003 riding accident that forced his retirement, right around the time I was researching. However, my book greatly benefited from interviews with Viola Sommer (Sham's owner), Penny Chenery (Secretariat's owner), and Butch Simpson and Peter Taaffe (grooms) -  in addition to many others who shared their knowledge of Sham's era with me. Thanks to Bill Mochon, Sham's photographer, for stopping by and spending a good part of his day with my husband Gary, and me.  My best to Christine Crocker at Champions! Gift Shop for hosting my first book signing.  It was a great experience.

Mary Walsh with Bill Mochon at Santa Anita Park

    My best to Amy Baird and Annette Noffz at Horse Connections, Inc. for including my book signing in their October 24, 2009 fund raiser benefiting the Therapeutic Horsemanship and Riding Program.  It was such an enjoyable experience knowing all proceeds went to the non-profit group's therapy program for special needs children. Please take a minute to visit their website to see the happiness they bring to the wonderful therapy class kids. It will tug at your heart strings.

    December 5, 2010 book signing on "Pony Rides Day" at Mid-Way, FL. Great to meet everyone who stopped by to talk about the newly released Secretariat movie and the brilliant underdog, SHAM