by Nicolle Neulist
Saturday’s card at Tampa Bay Downs features four stakes. Though there is no All-Stakes Pick 4, the late Pick 5 features all four stakes races, plus an open $16,000 claiming turf contest going a mile to end the day. The Late Pick 4 features three stakes (all but the Tampa Bay Stakes [G3]), plus the nightcap.
Here’s how I’m tackling the Late Pick 5 on Sam F. Davis Stakes Day:
RACE 8 – Tampa Bay Stakes (G3)
QURBAAN (#4) (3-1) closed for second in a loaded Fort Lauderdale Stakes (G2). He keeps “Jersey” Joe Bravo in the saddle, and this distance is perfect. Late-running INSPECTOR LYNLEY (#2) (5-1), who won this race in 2017, may turn the tables if he gets a cleaner trip than in the Fort Lauderdale.
RACE 9 – Suncoast Stakes
TWIXT AND SHOUT (#8) (4-1) woke up in the Tampa mud, her first race on dirt and her first around two turns. SWEET DIANE (#9) (3-1) should improve stretching back out to two turns; her trainer and jockey have set up shop in the Tampa winner’s circle. TAPIT’S PRINCESS (#3) (8-1) has to prove she’s not just a Gulfstream Park horse who needs an easy lead, but her breeding is top class and she proved she wants two turns.
RACE 10 – Endeavour Stakes (G3)
Especially with She’s Pretty Lucky strapping off the blinkers, HAWKSMOOR (#6) (3-1) can make the top. Trainer Arnaud Delacour excels with layoff horses, and has had plenty of time to work her toward this return. RYMSKA (#8) (5-2) is a must-use, if Chad Brown sees fit to ship her. That seems unlikely, with her regular rider named with her at Gulfstream instead.
RACE 11 – Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3)
SO ALIVE (#8) (5-1) is Todd Pletcher’s only winner at Tampa so far this season, having won a two-turn allowance over a dry Tampa track. CAVE RUN (#4) (6-1) won in the Tampa slop, but is bred to go long and trainer Eoin Harty can pay with a first-time router. KNICKS GO (#3) (5-2) is the class, and his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) suggests that he can sit just off the pace. KENTUCKY WILDCAT (#6) (9-2) is bred impeccably for two turns and beat a possible monster in Country House last out.
RACE 12 – $16K claiming
ADIOS NARDO (#1) (3-1) has returned from a long layoff in fine firm, rattling off a pair of wins at this level for 27-percent Tampa trainer Gerald Bennett. The bay gelding gets plenty to chase again. GRAY DUDE (#8) (10-1) was in far too tough last time; he moves to the right class and gets 28-percent rider Samy Camacho.
$0.50 ticket if Rymska does not ship
2,4 with 3,8,9 with 6 with 3,4,6,8 with 1,8 = $24
$0.50 ticket if Rymska ships
2,4 with 3,8,9 with 6,8 with 3,4,6,8 with 1,8 = $48
PHOTO: Kentucky Wildcat breaks his maiden under jockey Joe Bravo at Aqueduct on December 1, 2018 (c) NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography