Derby Points Up for Grabs in Sam F. Davis at Tampa

Sam F. Davis

A field of 10 line up in Saturday’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs (Photo credit:

Ten three-year-olds will line up on Saturday in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs with points toward entry into the Kentucky Derby (G1) up for grabs.

The Sam F. Davis is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with 10-4-2-1 points at stake for the top four finishers. The race serves as a prep for the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 9.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has won six of the last 13 runnings of the Sam F. Davis. The trainer sends out So Alive (6-1) a winner against first level optional claimers over the Tampa Bay Downs main track in his last outing.

The 5-2 morning line favorite is Knicks Go, who looks to bounce back off his 11th place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in the slop in his last start.

The Ben Colebrook trainee lit up the toteboard in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. The colt took the field gate to wire and returned his backers $142.00 for a $2 wager.

The colt came back in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) where again he was dismissed in the betting, sent off at 40-1. The colt hopped at the break, prompted the early pace and held on to the runner up spot behind Game Winner.

In the latest Kentucky Derby future betting at USRacing Knicks Go is listed at 20-1.

The Sam F. Davis is one of four stakes on Saturday’s card at Tampa Bay Downs. The co-features are the $175,000 Endeavour (G3), $150,000 Suncoast and the $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes (G3).

I will have selections and analysis for the Tampa stakes in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

Let’s head out to Tampa Bay Downs for Saturday’s featured race of the day:


Tampa Bay Downs Race 11 The Sam F. Davis (G3) Post time 5:25 ET

6 Kentucky Wildcat   9-2

8 So Alive   5-1

3 Knicks Go   5-2

4 Cave Run   6-1

Kentucky Wildcat

The Tom Albertrani trainee faces winners for the first time here after a game maiden win last out in his third career start going a one turn mile at Aqueduct. The colt tracked the early pace toward the outside, took over after six furlongs and dug in gamely in the stretch to win by a half-length. The runner up, fourth and ninth place finishers all exited the race to graduate next out. The colt gets better with each outing and can handle his first trip around two turns. He is by Tapit out of the stakes winner Better Lucky ($1.27 million), her first foal to race.

So Alive

This colt beat Alw-1 optional claimers over the main track here in his last outing, his first around two turns. He was bumped coming out of the gate, prompted the early pace and finished strongly as the 6-5 favorite. The colt is sent out by the Pletcher barn that has won this race in six of the last 13 editions. The $160,000 Keeneland purchase is by Super Saver out of a Street Cry mare that has dropped one other foal to race, stakes winner Vino Rosso ($842,500). He gets a jock upgrade to Castellano and the 6-1 morning line looks fair enough.

Knicks Go

The morning line favorite at 5-2, last out he prompted the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten 11th in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) over a sloppy track. He won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland at 70-1 and ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at 40-1. Was the slop to blame for his last effort? He likely bounces back here but is going to be a short price. He has worked sharply including three good drills over the main track here. He owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers but there are a couple of runners in here capable of making things tough up front.


WIN: Kentucky Wildcat to win at 7-2 or better.

EXACTA: 6,8 / 3,4,6,8

TRIFECTA: 6,8 / 3,4,6,8 / 3,4,6,7,8

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