The Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs is the Florida racetrack’s traditional prep for the Tampa Bay Derby and has become an increasingly important winter prep for the Kentucky Derby.
The Sam F. Davis, contested at 1 1/16 miles over Tampa Bay Downs’ main dirt track, earned Grade 3 status in 2009.
The race was not initially included in Churchill Downs’ Road to the Kentucky Derby series of points races in that systems inaugural year- 2013, but was added for the 2016-2017 series.
For a number of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds whose connections have Derby Fever, 4:55 on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs is show-and-tell time.
A field of 12, a few more promising than the others, is expected to line up about that time for the 42nd running of the Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes.
The mile-and-a-sixteenth race awards Road to the Kentucky Derby points to the first four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 scale.
The Sam F. Davis is one of four main-track stakes races on a good-looking, 11-race Festival Preview Day card beginning at 12:15.
The program includes three other stakes races: the $150,000, mile-and-40-yard Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, a Road to the Kentucky Oaks points race to be contested as the eighth race; the $100,000, 6-furlong Pelican Stakes, for horses 4-years-old-and-upward, which is the seventh race; and the $50,000, 6-furlong Minaret Stakes, for fillies and mares 4-and-upward, scheduled as the sixth.
On Friday the Daily Racing Blog will take a look at the field for this years Sam F. Davis, so stop back and see who we like.