Brian Nadeau’s Road to the Triple Crown 2019: The Sam F. Davis

Tampa Bay Downs: The Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis at 1 1/16 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points 10-4-2-1)

by Brian Nadeau

A cast of relative unknowns tries to prove their worth at Tampa, with the local Tampa Bay Derby, as well as the Florida Derby, likely to attract those who run well. Stepping up and facing winners is never easy but #6 KENTUCKY WILDCAT (9-2) progressed nicely in New York and is bred to be a star for Godolphin and Albertrani, as he’s by Tapit, out of GI winner Better Lucky, so here’s hoping he continues his climb in a race there for the taking. Owning a local two-turn win is never a bad thing, nor is luring Castellano in for the ride, so #8 SO ALIVE (5-1), a pricey son of Super Saver, looks playable for Pletcher, though he’ll need to improve off that AOC here win in January to get his picture taken. With other speed signed on, and a short price in the offing, let’s make #3 KNICKS GO (5-2) prove it, since he’ll be overbet off a GI-winning 2yo campaign, albeit one that ended with a total no-show in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs, which leaves this son of Paynter with a lot of questions as he kicks off his sophomore campaign for Colebrook. The gut says we haven’t seen close to the best of #10 STILL DREAMING (15-1), an impressive MSW winner at Laurel last time for Motion, and as a son of Flatter, he’s bred to like two turns and may be ready to step up and outrun his odds here.

Selections:

#6 Kentucky Wildcat

#8 So Alive

#3 Knicks Go

#10 Still Dreaming

70-1 Knicks Go and Albin Jiminez romp in the G1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity

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