Sam F. Davis Stakes | Race Profile

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The Sam F. Davis Stakes

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Sam F. Davis Stakes

Sam F. Davis Stakes Race History

The Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) is a 1 1/16 mile race for 3-year-olds held at Tampa Bay Downs in early February. The race offers a purse of $250,000 and is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby with the winner receiving 10 qualifying points. The inaugural race was in 1981, and 10 of the last 11 Sam F. Davis races since 2007 have produced at least one Kentucky Derby runner. The 2017 race had Kentucky Derby points for the first time since 2013, and the race drew its strongest field in years and offered more betting interest and competition. Still, the favorite McCraken won the 2017 Sam F. Davis in a record time of 1:42.45 coming from more than four lengths off the pace at the three-quarter pole. Runner up Tapwrit, at 9-1 odds, finished 2nd and he went on to win the 2017 Belmont Stakes.

McCraken’s off the pace style and win was in contrast to 2016 winner Destin, who pressed the pace just off the leader. Both those horses went on to run in the Kentucky Derby. But no Sam F. Davis winner has ever won a Triple Crown race. Destin came closest, losing the 2016 Belmont Stakes by a nose.

A horse trained by Todd Pletcher is worth a strong look in the Sam F. Davis, as Pletcher has won the race six times since 2006 including with Destin. Jockey John Velazquez has ridden three of those winners, so he too is a jockey that will get followed and bet on in this Kentucky Derby prep race that also produces many horses for the Tampa Bay Derby in mid-March. Tapwrit was trained by Todd Pletcher and paid a solid price to place (2nd) in the 2016 Sam F. Davis Stakes. So follow the trainers, comments, track bias and horses working well as you prepare to handicap and bet the Sam F. Davis Stakes.

Sam F. Davis Stakes Past Winners

Date Horse
2/10/18 Flameaway
2/11/17 McCraken
2/13/16 Destin
1/31/15 Ocean Knight
2/1/14 Vinceremos
2/2/13 Falling Sky
2/4/12 Battle Hardened
2/12/11 Brethren
2/13/10 Rule
2/14/09 General Quarters
2/16/08 Fierce Wind
2/17/07 Any Given Saturday
2/18/06 Bluegrass Cat
2/26/05 Andromeda's Hero
2/21/04 Kaufy Mate
2/22/03 White Buck
2/23/02 Bunk N Ted
3/3/01 Burning Roma
3/4/00 Go Lib Go
2/27/99 San Gennaro
2/28/98 Dabney Carr
3/1/97 Wilt the Tilt
3/9/96 Thundering Storm
3/11/95 Akiba
3/12/94 Parental Pressure
3/14/93 Marco Bay
3/7/92 Randy
3/9/91 Speedy Cure
3/3/90 Fiery Best
3/4/89 Papa Leonard
3/5/88 House Account
2/28/87 Phantom Jet
3/1/86 Fellow's Lady
3/6/85 Tamao's Gray
3/7/84 D. White
3/7/84 Morning Bob
3/5/83 Saverton
3/6/82 Tampa Bay Buck
2/28/81 Croziers Ace


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