There is one lone Kentucky Derby prep race this weekend as the Sam F. Davis takes place at Tampa Bay Downs.
The race is the 11th on the Saturday TBD card and is scheduled for a 2:25 p.m. PDT post.
The prohibitive favorite is Knicks Go (5/2). On paper the Ben Colebrook trained runner certainly looks deserving. He’s got Albin Jimenez in the irons for the fourth straight race which included a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
But there are questions. One, his second in the Juvenile came at 40-1 and was followed by an 11th in the Kentucky Jockey Club. That makes me think the BC Juvenile was a fluke and there was a reason he was 40-1.
Two, he’s at Tampa Bay as opposed to Gulfstream. The horse has run at five different tracks in six career starts and now the connections have settled on Tampa Bay Downs. That leads me to think the connections are trying steal prep points against easier fielders.
While it’s not the worst idea, it makes me wonder how much faith they have in the horse. On the positive side he has had a series of sharp works over the track and once again does look better than the rest of the field. Can he win? Sure, but not worth playing at anything lower than the 5/2 morning line.
Four Star General (4/1) is the second choice for Arnaud Delacour and jockey Jose Ortiz. Two straight wins, including a stakes’ win at Aqueduct in late November make him a viable threat.
Kentucky Wildcat (9/2) is out of the Thomas Albertrani barn and draws the services of Joe Bravo. An interesting horse to be the third favorite. With three starts over three tracks and only one win, to me it seems like the horse has a lot to prove.
So Alive (5-1) might end up being my top choice here. He’s out of the Todd Pletcher barn and picks up Javier Castellano for the ride. The horse does appear to have the ability to close and with their seemingly plenty of front-end speed, it should set up nicely for a closer.
He also has a two-turn over the track in his last start and that came after trouble at the start. So Alive is worth a long look.
By Dennis Miller