So far, only man has beaten Sham Say.
The brilliant 3-year-old crushed four other Maryland-bred fillies in yesterday's $53,825 Dancealot Stakes at Laurel, broadening her career unbeaten streak to six with an eight-length triumph over North Watch. It was her first start since a selection panel chose Thirty Eight Go Go over Sham Say as 1987's champion Maryland-bred 2-year-old filly. Sham Say beat Thirty Eight Go Go the two times they met, at six furlongs and 1 1/16 miles.
The selection committee contained none of the journalists who regularly cover Maryland racing; they withdrew from the selection process because the Maryland Horse Breeders Association restricted each newspaper to one vote.
The 1-to-10 favorite yesterday, Sham Say gave her backers among 8,603 nothing to fret over. Jockey Ben Feliciano kept her just off the outside flank of North Watch into the backstretch of the mile race, and Sham Say thereby moved to the lead.
On a fast track, she finished in a stakes-record 1:35 3/5, Feliciano never employing his whip. The $2.20 win mutuel equaled the lowest in Laurel history, matching that of Secretariat in the 1972 Laurel Futurity. Moreover, she commanded 92 percent of $22,580 wagered to show; because the track must pay a five-cent profit for every winning dollar wagered, Sham Say cost Laurel $3,975.35 by finishing at least third.
Favored in each of her starts, Sham Say has earned $193,092.
Two races before the Dancealot, Finder's Choice established a Laurel track record when he ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16. The 3-year-old colt, ridden by Kent Desormeaux for trainer Charlie Hadry, defeated Hucklefinn by 6 1/2 lengths in a $14,000 allowance race.
The previous record of 1:16 1/5 had been shared by Clever Now (1985), Cold Dawn (1985), Glidden (1986) and What An Entrance (1986).