Posts Tagged ‘State of Play’

Grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps: Robert Lewis, Sam Davis

The road to Kentucky Derby 2012 made stops in Florida and Southern California on Feb 4 and the G3 Sam Davis and G2 Robert Lewis Stakes both produced surprising results.

G3 Sam F. Davis (2-4-12): 81 BSF (Battle Hardened)

Kentucky Derby 2012 logo

Saturday’s Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs did not look strong on paper and eventual winner Battle Hardened was a maiden coming in and got the job done in slow time.  He is out of strong route sire Giant’s Causeway and trainer Eddie Kenneally is back on the Triple Crown trail after catching Derby fever with Santiva in 2011.

Three noses were on the wire for runner-up honors with Prospective edging out Reveron and Ravelo’s Boy. Prospective won the G3 Grey at Woodbine as a juvenile and Reveron was last seen capturing the Gulfstream Park Derby.

State of Play set the pace and faded to 7th for Team Valor and Graham Motion. Look for him to return to the sod in the near future.

Sam Davis Stakes Grade: D

I'll Have Another

I'll Have Another goes next in SA Derby - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

I’ll Have Another made the most of his first start in five months at Santa Anita on Saturday, posting a surprising $88.60 upset in a strange renewal of the Lewis.

G2 Robert Lewis Stakes (2-4-12): 96 BSF (I’ll Have Another)

Sprinter Isn’t He Clever set the pace with I’ll Have Another tracking him intently. The early leader faded after six panels and the eventual winner inherited the lead and was never seriously threatened in a relatively easy 2-3/4 length tally.

Liaison was the solid favorite for Bob Baffert but was never traveling comfortably and fell in the stretch after clipping heels with Groovin’ Solo, who crossed the line in 3rd but was place last via disqualification.

Royal Delta’s brother Empire Way was up to finish a clear 2nd and Rousing Sermon was elevated to 3rd.

It was double disappointment for Baffert as Sky Kingdom failed to get involved. Chips All In failed to lift a hoof.

The number from the Lewis came back solid enough but the race was dominated by longshots and did not look strong from a visual standpoint. I’ll Have Another is expected to go next in the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7.

Robert Lewis Stakes Grade: C

Sam F Davis Stakes 2012 Preview: Is Reveron Vulnerable?

The first graded route for Kentucky Derby 2012 hopefuls at Tampa Bay Downs is the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes and Gulfstream Park shipper Reveron is the tepid 3-1 choice.

#10 Reveron (3-1) owns an ascending numbers pattern and is an obvious threat if he runs back to his Gulfstream Park Derby triumph. The improving son of Songandaprayer sat a favorable trip from an advantageous inner post in his last and may not be as good as he appears on paper. Casual Trick, the GP Derby runner-up, came back to run poorly at the Gulf last weekend and Reveron must overcome an outer draw at a different venue today.

Kentucky Derby 2012 logo

#9 Burning Time (12-1) seems worth a flyer. The late runner ran out of ground in the seven furlong Pasco here Jan 14. He won the Foolish Pleasure around two turns at Calder last year and will be finishing at square odds.

#1 State of Play (7-2) is an interesting surface switcher for Graham Motion. He captured his first two starts as a juvenile including a graded route at the Spa second time out before flopping from post 13 when last seen in the BC Juvenile Turf. The Team Valor colorbearer has ability and should track the pace from the rail under Alan Garcia.

#4 Ecabroni (7-2) earned a strong number in a sharp seven panel maiden win at Gulfstream for Todd Pletcher on Jan 14. The likely target tries two turns and might get brave if able to shake loose early.

#11 Prospective (6-1) beat Burning Time and company in the Pasco and he also won the G3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine as a juvenile. The versatile sort fits on class but must overcome a wide draw.

#3 Battle Hardened (12-1) is on the upswing for Kenneally. He almost earned his diploma from post 11 at nine furlongs in a Gulfstream special weight contest Dec 31 and his trainer struck with maiden Santiva in a graded stakes event.  His task is not impossible.

#6 Neck ‘N Neck (5-1) is getting better for Wilkes. He graduated under the Twin Spires in November and finished 2nd behind highly regarded Pletcher runner Discreet Dancer at the Gulf on Jan 7.

#8 Ravelo’s Boy (15-1) finished 5th in the GP Derby. He is a capable finisher and can rally for a minor share.

#5 Moroccan Brew (30-1) was not threat in the Pasco Stakes and will probably attend the pace before throwing in the towel.

#7 Fox Rules (30-1) seems most effective on turf and the NY-bred shows up in an ambitious spot.

#2 Holy Highway (20-1) exits a local maiden turf route victory but does not have the numbers to compete here.

The Plays:

$10 to win #9 

.50 cent Trifecta 1-4-6-9-11/3/1-4-6-8-9-10-11 ($15)

. 50 cent Trifecta 1-4-6-10-11/1-3-4-6-8-10-11/9 ($15)

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