Knicks Go made a mark last fall, winning the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), and the gray colt will open his three-year-old season in Saturday’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. A field of 10 has been set and the 1 1/16-mile test will award qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 scale as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series.
An $87,000 yearling purchase, Maryland-bred Knicks Go is owned by KRA Stud Farm and trained by Ben Colebrook. The son of Paynter was no factor in a pair of stakes attempts before stretching out to two turns with a 70-1 shocker in October’s Breeders’ Futurity, scoring by 5 1/2 lengths in wire-to-wire fashion at Keeneland. He outran his 40-1 odds a month later in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile a Churchill Downs, taking a short lead into midstretch before being overhauled by eventual two-year-old champion male Game Winner, and registered a field-best 100 BRIS Speed rating for the outstanding effort.
Knicks Go will try to rebound from a disappointing 11th as the favorite in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) over a sloppy track in late November. Albin Jimenez retains the mount on the front-runner.
Five Star General brings a two-race win streak into his graded bow, most recently taking the off-the-turf Central Park at Aqueduct in late November. A Laurel Park maiden scorer for Arnaud Delacour two back, the Distorted Humor colt shares some of the same owners of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify (WinStar Farm, China Horse Club & S F Racing) and Jose Ortiz Jr. will be in to ride.
Cave Run proved no match for the track record-setting Win Win Win last time, checking in third as the favorite in the January 19 Pasco at Tampa, but the Godolphin homebred son of Street Sense may appreciate the stretch out to two turns in his third career start. Eoin Harty trains the bay colt and Cave Run earned an excellent 98 BRIS Speed when romping by 6 1/4 lengths at Tampa in his December 15 debut. Jesus Castanon will be up.
Todd Pletcher will send out So Alive, a half-brother to 2018 Wood Memorial (G2) winner Vino Rosso. By Super Saver, the bay colt broke his maiden the first-time out at Keeneland last October and shipped to Tampa to defeat entry-level allowance foes going away by a 1 1/2-length margin on January 6. Javier Castellano retakes the reigns and So Alive shows a recent half-mile bullet work in preparation.
Other runners include Still Dreaming, last seen posting a three-length maiden win at Laurel for Graham Motion; Kentucky Wildcat, who exits an Aqueduct maiden tally for Tom Albertrani; Florida-bred stakes victor Well Defined; and Going for Gold, who promises to add to the pace after being scratched from last Saturday’s Holy Bull (G2) in favor of this spot.