Well Defined Sprints Away From Rivals in Sam F. Davis Stakes

Well Defined winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) - Photo by SV Photography The $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs was supposed to feature a fast pace and a speed duel between a few of the prominent front-runners in the field. But Well Defined simply laughed at that notion, waltzing along on an uncontested lead to win the race in dominant fashion. Equipped with blinkers for the first time, Well Defined [...]

Is Knicks Go Vulnerable in the Sam F. Davis?

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo I don’t think anyone will deny that #3 Knicks Go was among the best two-year-olds of 2018, but that doesn’t mean that he’ll be unbeatable in Saturday’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs. Knicks Go will surely be favored in the 1 1/16-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race, but he’ll be making his first start in 2 ½ months [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 2/12/18

Mourinho (right) leads Combatant (white and black silks) into the homestretch of the Smarty Jones Stakes - Coady Photography Last Saturday, two horses listed in my weekly Kentucky Derby Top 10 competed in graded stakes races. One—Catholic Boy—was beaten a half-length in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III), an official prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The other—Nero—was beaten 3 ¼ lengths in the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes (gr. II). While it would be [...]

Clock, Eye Test Tell Different Stories in Sam F. Davis Stakes

Flameaway winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) - © SV Photography The clock told one story and my eyes told another when it came to Saturday’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs, an official prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The clock suggested that the 8.5-furlong race was a strong event—the final time of 1:42.44 was a new stakes record, eclipsing the mark of 1:42.45 set by McCraken [...]

How to Bet the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs Scenic (SV Photography) After a busy week with the Robert B. Lewis, the Withers and the Holy Bull, things are quiet on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” this weekend outside of the Grade 2 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. The Sam F. Davis Stakes, a prep for next month’s Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, drew a compact, yet solid group of three-year-olds with ten qualifying points going to the victor of the [...]

Will Vino Rosso Upset the Sam F. Davis Stakes?

Catholic Boy winning the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct - Viola Jasko/Adam Coglianese Photography In January 2017, the Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez made a special trip to Tampa Bay Downs to ride one horse in an ordinary maiden special weight. The trip proved to be worth his effort, for the horse was Always Dreaming, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) for Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher. When going over the field for Saturday’s [...]