The Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes for 3-year-old Triple Crown hopefuls is expected to draw Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Knicks Go, among others. The mile-and-a-sixteenth stakes at Tampa Bay Downs is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race, with the top four finishers being awarded points on a 10-4-2-1 scale toward qualifying for the 145th Run for the Roses on May 4 at Churchill Downs.
The 39th edition of the Sam F. Davis attracted 43 nominations, headed by the attractive gray colt Knicks Go. He won the Grade I Claiborne Breeders' Futurity on Oct. 6 at Keeneland and finished second to Game Winner in the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. Knicks Go breezed five furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday in 58 2/5 seconds with veteran jockey Jesse Garcia aboard.
The workout was a “bullet,” meaning it was the fastest of 39 at the distance Saturday. The previous Saturday, Knicks Go breezed 4 furlongs in 47 seconds flat, the fastest of 72 half-mile efforts that day.
“It (the 5-furlong move) probably was a little faster than we planned,” trainer Ben Colebrook said, “but (Garcia) is a light rider and Knicks Go did it really easy. He finished up with good energy and galloped out strong. We had given him some time off after his last start (an off-the-board finish in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on Nov. 24 on a sloppy Churchill Downs surface) and he had put on some weight since, so he needed a serious work.
“He was savaging his feed tub later on and happy this morning,” Colebrook said. “This was the big work, but we'll give him an easier half-mile next week and hopefully be ready for the Sam F. Davis. He is easy to train, he tries hard every time and he is a pleasure to be around.”
Knicks Go is owned by KRA Stud Farm and is ridden in his races by Albin Jimenez.
Other intriguing Sam F. Davis nominees include Grade II winner Call Paul and impressive Pasco Stakes winner Win Win Win.
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