February 28, 2024

Known Agenda, Smiley Sobotka head competitive Sam F. Davis

Known Agenda (inside) defeats Greatest Honour at Aqueduct on Nov. 8 @ Adam Coglianese Photography

Stakes-placed Known Agenda and Smiley Sobotka are among the top contenders in Saturday’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3). The 1 1/16-mile race, the first of two Kentucky Derby qualifiers at Tampa Bay Downs, attracted an overflow field of 13, but only 12 will be allowed to start.

The top four will receive points a 10-4-2-1 scale toward a Kentucky Derby berth.

Known Agenda is eligible to rebound following a third over a sloppy track in the Remsen S. (G2) at Aqueduct. Trained by two-time Kentucky Derby winner Todd Pletcher, Known Agenda broke his maiden at Aqueduct two starts back, scoring by a head over Greatest Honour, who romped in last Saturday’s Holy Bull S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park. John Velazquez will be up on Greatest Honour.

Smiley Sbotka exits a close second in the Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) at Churchill Downs. The Brody’s Cause colt has never finished worse than second from three career starts, breaking his maiden by two lengths at Keeneland the second time out, and the Dale Romans-trained chestnut should be forwardly-placed with Daniel Centeno.

Kentucky Derby-winning Hall of Famer Bill Mott has a pair of contenders.

Nova Rags will try two turns after rolling to 2 3/4-length win in the Jan. 16 Pasco S. at Tampa as the favorite. Samy Camacho will be back aboard the Union Rags colt. Candy Man Rocket will attract support following a 9 1/4-length maiden tally at Gulfstream in his second outing. Junior Alvarado takes over the reins on the Candy Ride colt.

Florida-bred stakes winner Boca Boy will return from a 133-day layoff against open rivals. Last seen posting a convincing wire-to-wire victory in the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion series, the Cheryl Winebaugh-conditioned gelding figures to show speed beneath Antonio Gallardo.

Hidden Stash makes his stakes debut for Vicki Oliver following wins over maiden special weight and entry-level allowance foes at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. Lucky Law will switch to the main track for Patrick Biancone after easily defeating turf maiden special weight rivals at Gulfstream. Ricochet will be tested for class off a runaway maiden score at Tampa on Dec. 19.

Joe Man Joe, Last Investment, Millean, and Runway Magic are also in the main body of the field. Tiz Tact Toe will need a defection to run from the also-eligible list.