2021 Sam F. Davis Stakes

Three-year-old colts and geldings looking to get on the Derby Trail will race a mile and a sixteenth over the Tampa Bay Downs strip on Saturday. The race is not known for producing Kentucky Derby winners, but a good horse can come from anywhere, and Tampa is as good a track to get legged up over as you will find.

A full field of 12 is scheduled to go to post, and there are a few interesting prospects, and I would not be surprised if one or even two wind up on the Derby Trail.

It looks like a nice betting race with plenty of value and a lot of ways to go. I will be taking a shot on a horse I think should win, and I am optimistic the price will be fair.

I’ll run down the field and see how things stack up.

Hidden Stash rolls in off two consecutive wins and is by hot sire Constitution. He has been working at Payson and has handled both Keeneland and Churchill Downs. I think he is a legit off the pace contender.

Joe Man Joe goes turf to dirt, has been the distance, and has some bottom to him. He is also one for one at Tampa. I’m not sold he is this good or can win, but I would not be shocked if he snuck into the tail end of the triple or super at a big price.

Known Agenda looks like the winner to me. I would love anything close to the 6-1 morning line. I doubt I get that. He came out of a strong debut race, also a key race the fast Highly Motivated won. He stretched out over a heavy track at Aqueduct and won a game race fighting Greatest Honour down the stretch. He caught slop when thrown into the Remsen off the hard-fought maiden win and ran a better than it looked third. John Velazquez sticks for his one-time main man Todd Pletcher, and I think the old friends get the win here. He’s by Curlin out of a talented mare and I think he can be a Derby type horse for sure.

Millean is one for one on dirt, but it was in a maiden claimer. He comes off Lasix for this and will have to show me he belongs here. I don’t see it at this point.

Smiley Sobotka will take plenty of money and have his share of backers. He comes off a very good second in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club to the well respected Keepinmind. He had a two-length lead in the stretch and lost by only three-quarters of a length. A definite contender, but I think Known Agenda is better.

Runway Magic is a Runhappy colt stretching out. I am not sold on his wanting two-turns, or his being this good.

Boca Boy has speed and is game. Tampa ace Antonio Gallardo rides, and he can get the trip under the right circumstances. I don’t think he can hold off Known Agenda, but I think we’ll know he’s in the fight at least for a while.

Nova Rags comes off a big win over the track in the 7-furlong Pasco. I’m not sure what to make of him in here. I think he can go forward second off the lay-off, and I like Camacho sticking, but he is another I don’t think can handle Known Agenda.

Candy Man Rocket comes off a big maiden win by 9 plus lengths. He should have speed, but I think he can regress off the strong effort. If he doesn’t, then he might be one to put on the radar. Junior Alvarado rides for Bill Mott, and they are having a very nice winter together in Florida.

Ricochet comes off a big maiden win over the track. He will have to prove it to me.

Lucky Law has run two races on the grass, now tries the dirt. He is bred to handle anything with Scat Daddy on the sire line and Singspiel on the dam line. Robbie Albarado has yet to win a race in Florida this winter, so we know he is hungry and capable. A dangerous and interesting bomb from Patrick Biancone. He probably is the one I am most concerned with.

Last Investment is a maiden going in, and I’ll bet a maiden coming out.

It’s Known Agenda as a single for me and a win bet also. I will also take him on top of some exactas. Last but not least, I will take him on top in the supers, and have my exacta horses, who I have yet to finalize, in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, slots with all in the others. The one horse I will definitely be using in the exactas, and also in all the super slots, even the 1st one is Lucky Law.

Enjoy the races and go get em!

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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