The Sam F Davis Stakes 2023
The Sam F Davis drew a full field of three-year olds to race a mile and a sixteenth over the Tampa Bay Downs dirt. I’ve always felt Tampa was a great place to get a horse “legged up” or fit and I like to watch and bet horses coming off Tampa races.
Worthington breaks from the rail and tries the dirt for the first time. I like his dirt works and he is bred to handle the main track. I think he has some bottom to him with those grass races under his belt and I think he is a contender under Pablo Morales. You can hear from Pablo directly HERE on the nuances of the Tampa Bay main track and how it can be biased. It is worth checking out especially before tackling this card.
Prairie Hawk is two for two at Tampa and moves into a stake here. He looks like he fits, and Saffie Joseph is on fire at that meet. Another contender.
Classic Legacy ran his best race breaking his maiden in the slop last out. This is his first try against winners and at two turns. Over this track I say prove it.
Laver ran OK in the Mucho Macho Man but not good enough for me to think he can win this.
Groveland is a local hopeful who looks a cut below to me. I’ll pass.
Classic Car Wash steps up in good form. He tries stakes off two wins in a row the last over the Tapeta at Gulfstream. Jaramillo makes the trip to ride him, but I think these are tougher than what he has faced and is ready for right now.
Dubyuhnell looks like the one to beat. Though his two wins including the Grade 2 Remsen were in the slop he looks like an improving quality router, and I like this spot for him. Jose Ortiz keeps the faith for now and his debut at Saratoga over a fast track was good enough that I don’t think he will have a problem with it. The pace and track should suit him, and I think he will be coming when it counts.
Notah stretches out and goes against winners in a stake. He is another I will say show me to.
Champions Dream is interesting. His only bad race was in the slop, and he should get the distance and the two turns. He should go forward second off the layoff here and I think he is a contender.
Dreaming of Kona keeps giving good accounts of himself, and that can continue here. I don’t think he is the winner, but he can get a share.
Litigate comes in off a good second at Gulfstream for Todd Pletcher and gets Luis Saez. That alone merits respect. He should be in the mix.
Zydeceaux should be part of the pace and has a sprinter look to him.
There are plenty of ways to go in here. I will take a shot with the rail horse trying the dirt. Worthington has the tools to upset this if he takes to the dirt. If he wasn’t working good over it, I doubt Maker would run him here. I also think he will get a bit lost in the shuffle on the tote board and we can all live with that. Mike Maker plays it close to the vest, but you can hear from him directly right HERE
Enjoy the races and win the photos.