Unbeaten 3-year-old Independence Hall is expected to be the headliner on next Saturday's Festival Preview Day card at Tampa Bay Downs.
The stakes-laden program consists of three graded events, topped by the 40th edition of the Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes for 3-year-olds, which is a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points race.
Also scheduled are the Grade III, $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes on the turf, for fillies and mares 4-years-old-and-upward; the Grade III, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes on the turf, for horses 4-years-old-and-upward; and the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, a “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” points race.
The Sam F. Davis, which is run on the main track at a distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth, is expected to attract eight or more sophomores, led by the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stables and Kathleen Verratti and Robert Verratti-owned colt Independence Hall. His 3-for-3 resume includes victories in the Grade III Nashua Stakes and the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct.
Michael Trombetta trains Independence Hall, who breezed 5 furlongs here Sunday in a minute flat, the fastest of 34 recorded workouts that day at the distance. Jose Ortiz is expected to be in town for the riding assignment.
Among those expected to challenge Independence Hall are Grade III Grey Stakes winner Chapalu, trained by Arnaud Delacour; Grade II Remsen Stakes runner-up Ajaaweed, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin; trainer Michael Stidham's stakes winner Albert Park, who finished second here in the Pasco Stakes on Jan. 18; turf stakes winner Sole Volante, from the barn of trainer Patrick Biancone; stakes-placed No Getting Over Me, trained by leading Oldsmar conditioner Gerald Bennett; and allowance winner Super John, trained by John Servis.
Allowance winner Premier Star, trained by Jorge Navarro, is currently listed as a Sam F. Davis possible.
The Sam F. Davis, which is the major prep race for the Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby here on March 7, awards Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the first four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 scale.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.