Wednesday, February 3, 2021
OLDSMAR - Nova Rags, who won the Pasco Stakes here on Jan. 16, and Candy Man Rocket, a runaway winner of a maiden special weight sprint on Jan. 9 at Gulfstream, give Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott a formidable pair of contenders in Saturday’s Gr. III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, the main event of Festival Preview Day 41 Presented by Lambholm South at Tampa Bay Downs.
Nova Rags will again be ridden by leading Oldsmar jockey Samy Camacho. Mott has named Junior Alvarado to ride Candy Man Rocket. The 41st running of the mile-and-a-sixteenth race on the main track, which awards “Road to the Kentucky Derby” qualifying points to the first four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 scale has drawn a field of 12.
Mott may have rival trainer Todd Pletcher to beat. Pletcher, who has won a record six Sam F. Davis Stakes, will go for No. 7 with Donegal Racing’s colt Millean and St. Elias Stables’ Known Agenda, who finished third in the Grade II Remsen Stakes on Dec. 5 at Aqueduct
The Sam F. Davis, scheduled as the 11th race on a 12-race card beginning at 11:50 a.m., is one of four stakes offering an aggregate $750,000 in stakes purse money.
Saturday’s 35th running of the Gr. III, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes, for horses 4-years-old-and-upward going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf, is scheduled as the eighth race. A field of 12 older horses is expected, headed by 4-year-old gelding Sole Volante, last year’s Sam F. Davis Stakes winner, and Gr. II-winning 4-year-old colt Fancy Liquo
Sole Volante is trained by Patrick Biancone and will be ridden by Robby Albarado. Fancy Liquor is trained by Michael Maker and will have Hector Diaz Jr., in the saddle.
The 22nd edition of the Gr. III, $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes, for fillies and mares 4-and-upward racing a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf, has attracted eight entries and is scheduled as the 10th race. Heading the field are 4-year-old filly New York Girl, an Irish-bred who won her first start in the United States on Dec. 31 at Gulfstream, and Counterparty Risk, a game second in the Lady of Shamrock Stakes on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita.
New York Girl is trained by Mott and will be ridden by Junior Alvarado. Chad Brown conditions Counterparty Risk, who will be ridden by John Velazquez.
The other stakes is the 41st running of the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies traveling a mile-and-40-yards on the main track. The Suncoast, which lured 10 entries, is the ninth race on the card.
Among the likely contenders are Special Princess, who dead-heated for victory in the Gasparilla Stakes here on Jan. 16, and Feeling Mischief, who captured the Sandpiper Stakes here on Dec. 5 before settling for third in the Gasparilla.
Ademar Santos will ride Special Princess for trainer Walter Woodard. Jesus Castanon will be aboard Feeling Mischief for trainer Michael Campbell. Another probable contender is trainer Rodolphe Brisset’s Gulf Coast, to be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
Sam F. Davis Stakes:
1. Hidden Stash, Victoria Oliver, Hector Diaz, Jr. 2. Joe Man Joe, David Fisher, Huber Villa-Gomez. 3. Known Agenda, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez. 4. Millean, Todd Pletcher, Roberto Alvarado, Jr. 5. Smiley Sobotka, Dale Romans, Daniel Centeno. 6. Runway Magic, George “Rusty” Arnold, II, Julien Leparoux. 7. Boca Boy, Cheryl Winebaugh, Antonio Gallardo. 8. Nova Rags, Bill Mott, Samy Camacho. 9. Candy Man Rocket, Bill Mott, Junior Alvarado. 10. Ricochet, Kelsey Danner, Jesus Castanon. 11. Lucky Law, Patrick Biancone, Robby Albarado. 12. Last Investment, Stacy Lane Hendry, Ademar Santos. 13 (also eligible, draws in if there is a late scratch): Tiz Tact Toe, Robert B. Hess, Jr., Alonso Quinonez.
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