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Goldencents captures Sham Stakes for O'Neill

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Arcadia, CA (Sportsbooks) - Odds-on favorite Goldencents began his 2013 campaign with a solid win in Saturday's $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita and may have given his trainer the horse for a second straight Kentucky Derby victory.

Trained by Doug O'Neill, Goldencents pressured the pacesetter Manando in the mile stakes and went on to register a 1 1/2-length win over 7-2 second pick Den's Legacy. The 2-5 favorite notched his second consecutive stakes triumph and gained 10 points to starting in the Run for the Roses.

The 3-year-old, ridden by Kevin Krigger, was timed in 1:36.50 on a fast track for the Sham Stakes.

Finishing third was Manando followed by Dry Summer and Dirty Swagg. Greeley Awesome, also trained by O'Neill, was scratched.

Co-owned by Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, Goldencents picked up $60,000 and won for the third time in four starts. The colt has earned $782,000.

Goldencents led the entire way in winning the $1 million Delta Jackpot on Nov. 17 at Delta Downs in Louisiana. The colt posted a 7 1/4-length victory in his career opening start and followed with a second-place finish in the Champagne Stakes to Shanghai Bobby who went on to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Nov. 3.

O'Neill, along with jockey Mario Gutierrez, won last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with I'll Have Another.

Goldencents paid $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10. Den's Legacy returned $2.60 and $2.10, and Manando paid $2.20 to show.

January 5, 2013, at 05:58 PM ET
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Gary Stevens returning to the saddle
Goldencents heavy favorite for Sham Stakes
Goldencents heavy favorite for Sham Stakes