Sham Say, the Maryland-bred and -based 3-year-old filly who is undefeated in seven starts, was sold yesterday for $2 million, the most ever paid for a locally based thoroughbred sold privately.

Cornelius N. Ray, a Kentucky boat manufacturer who owns Evergreen Farm, purchased Sham Say from real estate developer Eugene Ford Sr. and Zelma Morrison, both of Bethesda. Sham Say is scheduled to be shipped this morning from Laurel to trainer William (Winkie) Cocks' stable at Aqueduct in New York.

Ford and Morrison originally paid $24,000 for Sham Say, a gray daughter of Oh Say, out of Sham Bee. She was selected as a yearling by their trainer, Bernie Bond.

"At the time," Bond said, "I thought that was too much."

But after only one race, he had cause for reassessment. Sham Say easily won her debut as a 2-year-old, then defeated archrival Thirty Eight Go Go in the Smart Angle Stakes, her first of six successive stakes triumphs. She proceeded to amass $225,592 in earnings; with yesterday's sale, Ford and Morrison -- who had equal partnership -- realized nearly a hundredfold return on their investment. Bond will receive $200,000 from the sale, according to sources.

"I have mixed emotions," Bond said. "I love her, but I recognize a good business deal when it comes along, too."

Ray, whose Evergreen Farm stands on 405 acres near Paris, Ky., first expressed interest in Sham Say two months ago. He inspected the filly on Sunday, then flew to California, where he could not be reached for comment. A veterinarian examined Sham Say yesterday afternoon, reported her healthy, and the deal was consummated.

"I've never sold a horse before, never even had one claimed," Ford said. "But {Ray} really wanted this horse, and we just couldn't pass up the offer. By selling her, we get a lot of the benefits without assuming the risks associated with keeping a racehorse in action."

Cocks, who operates a stable of about 40, said he considered the price reasonable. "We're trying to build our stable with good horses," he said. "It looks like she's one of the best 3-year-old fillies around anywhere, and they cost money. They don't just give them away."

The deal easily exceeds what was believed the richest private transaction for a Maryland thoroughbred in training, Peter Brant's $840,000 purchase of Jameela in September 1981.

"I know the deal makes good business sense," Bond said. "You can have a champion filly one minute, and a broken-down filly the next. But nevertheless, I don't think I'll be at the barn in the morning when they take her away."