You won’t ever know very well what Champions Come Out of Sam F. Davis Stakes

Three years back, a horse known as Flameaway grabbed the level 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. A stakes were set by the Mark Casse-trained colt record for the 1 1/16 miles – 1:42.44.

Smiley Sobotka-Sam F. Davis
Smiley Sobotka broke his maiden at Keeneland in October. That win is owned by him and two moments in three events entering Saturday’s Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. (Image: Coady Photography)

Flameaway would finish 2nd into the Tampa Bay Derby. He’d win a small stakes as a 4-year-old, then pretty run that is much his name and flame away.

The second- and horses that are third-place that Sam F. Davis, nonetheless, didn’t flame away. Runner-up Catholic Boy won the Belmont Invitational on turf, then your Travers right back on dirt – two fundamentals of a $2.1 million profession.

As The show horse that day, he finished fourth in that Tampa Bay Derby, won the Wood Memorial and finished fourth in that year’s Belmont Stakes for Vino Rosso. As a 4-year-old, Vino Rosso won three times – including the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in his final race. That put an exclamation point on a $4.8 million career.

You Never Know Who Emerges from Sam F. Davis

The moral of this whole tale for Saturday’s Sam F. Davis: focus on everyone else. Otherwise, you may miss horses like Tapwrit, who finished second in the 2017 Davis. He went on to win the Tampa Bay Derby and the Belmont later that spring.

Dating to 1981 and joining the Derby trail in 2013, the Sam F. Davis serves as a prep for the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. It offers Kentucky that is 10-4-2-1 Derby points to its top four finishers. Ten horses through the 2010s climbed through the Davis to your Churchill Downs gate that is starting the Derby, most recently last year’s winner – Sole Volante.

This year’s 12-horse Sam F. Davis field features only two stakes winners. Those are the Bill Mott-conditioned Nova Rags (4/1), who won the Black-Type Pasco Stakes three weeks ago, and gelding that is florida-bred Boy (5/1). He grabbed the Florida Sire in fact Stakes, a race that is restricted Florida-breds.

Don’t Stake Your Sam F. Davis Stake With These Two

Let’s dismiss both here. Nova Rags is 2-for-3, but that Pasco win came over seven furlongs against a field that is weak. Into the level 3 Nashua, he completed that is fourth 14 ½ lengths, with an anemic 67 Equibase Speed Figure. As for Boca Boy, he does bring some speed that is early along side a lot more than $300,000 in profits. But he’sn’t broken 80 yet on Equibase, operating against soft industries.

That Housekeeping out of the real way, who warrants attention in the Sam F. Davis? Start with favorite Sobotka that is smiley). He completed 2nd by three-quarters a length into the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club once the weaker 1 / 2 of a entry that is dual. That was clearly Smiley Sobotka’s race that is best, bringing an 89 Equibase.

Respectable rate figure apart, this does not look almost as impressive now since it did then. The horse that is third-place Arabian Prince, finished a distant fifth at the Lecomte Stakes next out. Fourth-place Swill finished a miserable fourth in the Jerome, melting in the stretch. Sittin On Go finished a disinterested sixth in his next outing. Smiley Sobotka can set a pace that is strong. At a familiar distance in this field is the key question.

Known whether he can sustain it Agenda Comes in Battle-Tested

That brings us to Agenda that is known), certainly one of two Todd Pletcher offerings. Pletcher has six Davis games, four a lot more than other trainer. With understood Agenda, Pletcher has outstanding chance for No. 7. The Curlin progeny undoubtedly has the resume that is best coming in. While he’s hit the board in all three starts (1-1-1), it’s who he’s hit the board against that makes him a overlay that is great.

In their Belmont Park first September that is last Agenda finished second by 1 ¾ lengths to Highly Motivated (currently 30/1 on William Hill Nevada’s Derby futures board). Highly Motivated parlayed that into winning the Nyquist Stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard.

Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes/Tampa Bay Downs

  1. Morning Line (Jockey/Trainer)
  2. Hidden Stash, 10/1 (Hector Diaz Jr./Victoria Oliver)
  3. Joe Man Joe, 20/1 (Huber Villa-Gomez/David Fisher)
  4. Known Agenda, 6/1 (John Velazquez/Todd Pletcher)
  5. Millean, 12/1 (Roberto Alvarado/Todd Pletcher)
  6. Smiley Sobotka, 5/2 (Daniel Centeno/Dale Romans)
  7. Runway Magic, 8/1 (Julien Leparoux/George Arnold II)
  8. Boca Boy, 5/1 (Antonio Gallardo/Cheryl Winebaugh)
  9. Nova Rags, 4/1 (Sammy Camacho/Bill Mott)
  10. Candy Man Rocket, 10/1 (Junior Alvarado/Bill Mott)
  11. Ricochet, 15/1 (Jesus Castanon/Kelsey Danner)
  12. Lucky Law, 20/1 (Robby Albarado/Patrick Biancone)

Last Investment, 30/1 (Ademar Santos/Stacy Hendry)

Next out, Known Agenda beat Greatest Honour by a head over nine furlongs in an Aqueduct maiden weight that is special. Greatest Honour – now 15/1 at Circa Sports and 16/1 at William Hill — continued to win week’s that is last Bull by nearly six lengths. That pair was 21 lengths clear of third-place Overtook.

Last out, Known Agenda finished a third that is distant the level 2 Remsen Stakes. Their 86 Equibase into the Aqueduct slop matched their job well – all three of which operate from 83 to man that is 86.

Candy Jets Up in Class Here

The only other intriguing prospect here is Mott’s second offering: Candy Man Rocket (10/1). He jumps from a 9 ¼-length maiden win over 6 ½ furlongs at Gulfstream to a stakes that are graded. And Candy guy Rocket performs this while tackling two turns and 8 ½ furlongs for the time that is firstHis pedigree as a Candy Ride progeny bodes well for distance. Here, he bodes well for stuffing underneath in exotics.

The pick:(*) Known Agenda. Even in an field that is inexperienced this, Smiley Sobotka can be as beatable a popular as there was. Also you focus on Known Agenda’s overall body of work and who that body of work came against, this becomes one of the easier handicap efforts of the weekend.(* if you factor in his nine-length loss in the Remsen, when)

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