Tipsheet: 2023 Sam F. Davis Stakes

February 9th, 2023

A full field of 12 sophomores will travel 1 1/16 miles over the Tampa Bay Downs dirt surface in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis S. (G3) on Saturday. The 2023 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series tilt will reward the top-five finishers with qualifying points on a 20-8-6-4-2 structure.

Sam F. Davis Stakes Picks

  • #7 Dubyuhnell
  • #11 Litigate
  • #1 Worthington
  • #2 Prairie Hawk

Sam F. Davis Stakes Wagers 

  • $30 win: #7 Dubyuhnell
  • $1 trifecta: 7 with 1, 2, 11 with all
  • 50-cent superfecta: 7, 11 with 7, 11 with 1, 2 with all

Sam F. Davis Stakes Contenders

#1 WORTHINGTON: The Mike Maker pupil has flashed a lot of potential on the lawn and tries the dirt for the first time on this occasion. The bay son of Classic Empire has won or placed in each of his four lifetime tries to date, and the sophomore has the right running style to handle the surface change. Pablo Morales will be up.  

#2 PRAIRIE HAWK: The improving three-year-old has moved forward with each lifetime try and has a local edge on many of his counterparts. The Saffie Joseph trainee exits a smart allowance coup on the course and figures to enjoy a ground saving voyage on Saturday. The son of Curlin will have Samy Camacho in the silks once again.

#3 CLASSIC LEGACY: Ran his best race to date when graduating over a sloppy, sealed oval at Aqueduct in December. The Bill Mott charge is bred to be a good one, and the Into Mischief colt will be a factor with progression in his three-year-old debut. Junior Alvarado retains the mount.

#4 LAVER: The Bernardini colt has improved his Brisnet Speed number in every lifetime try to date for Rusty Arnold. The bay homebred ran evenly when fifth in the Mucho Macho Man S. at Gulfstream Park in his latest endeavor. He draws better for this event and has some top-three appeal with another move in the right direction.

#5 GROVELAND: The Eoin Harty pupil is another who has moved up in each career run to date, which includes a solid runner-up allowance result here most recently. The Godolphin homebred shows a trio of useful morning drills in the interim and wouldn’t be a total shocker with Daniel Centeno in the stirrups.

#6 CLASSIC CAR WASH: The chestnut Noble Bird gelding rides in on a two-race win streak for trainer Mark Casse. The Florida-bred will make the synthetic-to-dirt move on Saturday, and the $105,000 juvenile buy could find his way into the exotics with a lifetime-topping effort following a pair of very good morning moves as of late.

#7 DUBYUHNELL: The Remsen S. (G2) victor has shown marked improvement since adding blinkers two back for conditioner Danny Gargan. The talented son of Good Magic passed his two-turn test with aplomb last time out, and is the one to beat while making his seasonal bow beneath Jose Ortiz.

#8 NOTAH: The dark bay son of Flatter rises up in class following a smart maiden tally on the surface for trainer John Terranova. The three-year-old colt gave every impression of a horse that will prefer going long last time out, and he could be very interesting if he takes the lead out of the gate in this spot. Antonio Gallardo inherits the mount.

#9 CHAMPIONS DREAM: The gray son of Justify capped his juvenile season with a Nashua S. (G3) tally and commenced 2023 with a close second in the Pasco S. on the course. The Casse trainee is bred to run long and could be any kind while making his two-turn debut in this deep field. Tyler Gaffalione picks up the ride.

#10 DREAMING OF KONA: The Fast Anna three-year-old was elevated to first in the recent Mucho Macho Man S. to make it two-for-three lifetime. He faces better on this occasion with more ground to negotiate, but he has to be given a chance as a pace contender, at the very least. Scott Spieth will guide the swift colt.

#11 LITIGATE: The son of Blame won at first asking prior to checking in second in an allowance test at Gulfstream last time out. The $370,000 yearling purchase has tactical speed combined with a pedigree to run all day, and the bay will be dangerous if he endures a logical trip from a wide post on Saturday. Luis Saez will be atop the long-term prospect.

#12 ZYDECEAUX: The son of Cajun Breeze has never been beyond seven furlongs, and the recent Pasco S. victor also draws widest of all in the cast. The bay gelding will be prominent from the break, but he would be a surprise against this field.