Known Agenda a tepid top choice in Sam F. Davis

The Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis puts sophomores in the Saturday spotlight at Tampa Bay Downs. The 17-point Kentucky Derby prep race (10-4-2-1 format) pits a field of 11 at 1 1/16th-miles on the main oval.

Estimated post time for the Sam F. Davis – the 11th of 12 on the day at the Oldsmar, FL oval – is 5:02 p.m. ET.

#3 KNOWN AGENDA (6-1) gets the nod at a fair price in a wide-open renewal of the Sam F. Davis. The Todd Pletcher trainee was a solid second on debut behind next-out stakes winner Highly Motivated. He followed that up with a maiden victory over Holy Bull winner Greatest Honour.

KNOWN AGENDA’s first foray into graded company resulted in a distant third-place finish in a sloppy renewal of the Grade II Remsen behind the well-regarded Brooklyn Strong. But with John Velazquez shipping into ride and a bullet five-furlong prep work for this, all signs point toward KNOWN AGENDA making the grade in the Sam F. Davis, so long as track conditions come up favorable.

#5 SMILEY SOBOTKA (3-1, morning-line favorite) had a two-length lead in the stretch in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes when last seen, but was ultimately caught by favored Keepmeinmind. He’ll try to atone in his sophomore debut for Dale Romans.

SMILEY SOBOTKA possesses competitive speed figures, drilled well for this, and lures local sharpie Daniel Centeno.

#9 CANDY MAN ROCKET (10-1) intrigues off a blowout maiden victory going six furlongs at Gulfstream last month. It was just his second career start for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Velazquez jumps off, but CANDY MAN ROCKET gets Junior Alvarado in the irons on Saturday.

The son of Candy Ride is certainly fast enough, but the distance is the question.

The play: $2 exacta box 3/5/9, $3 exacta 3/5,9, $2 exacta 5/3 ($20)

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