The Sam Davis 2022

The three-year olds continue on the Kentucky Derby trail Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs in the Grade 3 Sam F Davis stakes.

The race drew a full field of 12 which offers bettors a wide range of horses and angles to choose from. I’ll run down the field and see where we land. We nailed the winner of the Holy Bull last Saturday with White Abarrio, let’s see if we can do it again.

The race on paper looks like it has a fair share of pace so I will be looking for someone to come from a stalking or behind position.

Mr Rum Runner looks OK but not quite as good as some of the others do to me. I don’t like the trip I project for him from the rail either.

Unpredictable Bay finally had the light bulb go off when he broke his maiden last time out. That was back in November however and also at six furlongs. He likely makes the lead, but I don’t think he will be up to the task of wiring these.

Classic Causeway arguably comes out of the best races. He has yet to run a bad one but is most effective to date on or near the lead. He is a contender and can win this with the right trip, but it may be difficult to get it being fresh and with his style.

Golden Glider is my top choice here. True he has not beaten much that we know of yet, but he was good enough to win going long on debut over the synthetic at Woodbine. He came back to close into a slow pace in his Tampa and three-year old debut. He is working good, Gallardo sticks, and I think he will be motoring late. He may also be the least regarded of the Casse runners in here.

God of Love has the right style, bottom, and experience. He is a question mark first time on the dirt, but he has handled synthetic and turf. Maybe, but I like others more.

Trademark is another pace type horse in here. I am leaning against the speed runners in this one.

Make It Big is three for three with a win in the Springboard Mile. He will be in the right spot sitting just off the pace if good enough. I suspect he isn’t.

Shipsational is a game New York bred looking to make some noise in open company while stretching out to two turns. He will have to prove it to me in here.

Howling Time is interesting, especially if he reverts to his earlier running style of coming from off the pace. He is working well, has upside and can potentially get the type of trip I am looking for in here.

Volcanic took a big step forward in his three-year old debut. He will have to avoid any regression to win here, and he goes off Lasix which he had for the last one. Prove it I say.

Strike Hard will take some money. Not mine. The wide post is enough to make me look elsewhere.

Kitten Mischief is wider than Strike Hard but a tougher toss for me. I see upside and possibly a better trip. If he drops back and tucks, I think he has the run to contend late.

With twelve scheduled to go to post it figures there will be options. I’ll lean on Golden Glider as my top choice but on the spread pick 5 I’ll use all my contenders. I’ll have at least two singles in other legs so that is definitely doable.

Enjoy the races and win the photos!

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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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