Updated on 09/16/2011 6:47AM

Definite Edge sure to lay back


ARCADIA, Calif. - Definite Edge will come from off the pace in Friday's $75,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. This time, that is the game plan for the promising colt trained by David Hofmans.

Last month, the Hofmans-trained Siphonic was a heavy favorite in the Santa Catalina Stakes. Expected to be near the pace early, he broke poorly and trailed the field until the final turn, eventually finishing second.

While Siphonic remains the top 3-year-old in California, Definite Edge could earn a place in a major prep for the Kentucky Derby with a win in the Sham Stakes, run over 1 1/8 miles.

A $600,000 yearling purchase by David and Jill Heernsperger, Definite Edge has one win in four starts, a maiden race at Hollywood Park on Dec. 13. He was second in an allowance race here on Dec. 29.

"He'll come from off [the pace]," Hofmans said. "That's his style and I think the extra furlong will help."

The Sham is an intriguing betting race. Restricted to nonwinners of a first-place purse of $50,000 at a mile or over, the race has not drawn any major stakes winners.

USS Tinosa won two stakes for Ohio-breds last fall, but has yet to win in three starts since joining Jerry Hollendorfer's stable in October. Most recently, he was third in the Grade 3 Golden Gate Derby at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 12, losing by 1 1/2 lengths to Danthebluegrassman.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas starts Shah Jehan, who was unplaced in two Group 1 stakes in Europe in October. Purchased for $4.4 million as a yearling, Shah Jehan is making his first start on dirt.

Cottonwood Cowboy, the expected pacesetter, was third behind Labamta Babe and Siphonic in the Santa Catalina.

Hot Contest returns after winning a maiden race, while Definite Edge and Puerto Banus were beaten in allowance races in their last starts. Hot Contest has been pointed for this race since he pulled an upset at 25-1 in a maiden race at 1 1/16 miles Dec. 30.

After winning a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 5, Puerto Banus was fourth in an allowance race over a mile on Jan. 30. The quick turnaround is a concern for trainer Bob Baffert.

"He got a little tired," Baffert said. "I don't like running back in nine days, but I've got to give him a chance."

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