2018 Sam F Davis Preview

The “Quirky” surface of Tampa Bay Downs as the road to Kentucky continues with an impressive line-up of sophomores.


Catholic Boy benefitted from a minor contested pace duel in the Remsen and loved the nine-furlong distance.  Comes off the layoff and has a goal of this race, the Florida Derby and then if he qualifies the Kentucky Derby.  He looks like the betting favorite, not sold on him being cranked up and maybe a little dressed up in this spot.  Lacks a quick speed and have a feeling he loses ground on the turn.  Like the long-term outlook, but feel today he comes up short.

Vino Rosso steps up in class after an impressive maiden win, and then a facile Allowance win at Tampa Bay has speed and should be on the engine from the beginning.  Needs to face other quality speed in Vouch and put him away and try to hold off the closers.  I expect him to get hit hard at the windows with the Todd Pletcher batting over 50% the last couple of years at Tampa Bay with shippers.

Hollywood Star has run some solid races and natural development puts him in the mix in this race.  The barn has been cold and this is probably the best the barn has, so expecting a top effort.  The class has been tested, works are solid and come into this race fit and ready. Capable of winning if everything goes right and maybe the third favorite.

Vouch impressed with a dominating maiden score and then from a wide post chased the speed, made a mid-race move and weakened late in the Remsen.  The Remsen was a big ask for a horse with one-lifetime race and being asked to go nine furlongs in a second-lifetime start.  Expect a strong effort off the bench.

Fair Odds

Catholic Boy- 4/1

Hollywood Star 7/2

Vino Rosso –  5/2

Vouch – 5/1

The Selection:

Vouch has been training well and ran a solid race in the Remsen, should be able to control the pace and has a turn of foot that should challenge Vino Rosso on the turn.  This is a race to take advantage of a false favorite in Catholic Boy.