A trouble-free start and trip helped No More Time bounce back from a season-opening loss to win the $200,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.
Fifth in the Mucho Macho Man S. at Gulfstream on New Year’s Day after hopping at the start and failing to settle, No More Time was far more alert in the Davis over 1 1/16 miles. Making the lead soon after the start, No More Time set a fairly demanding pace of :23.52, :46.61, and 1:10.81, but had plenty left in the stretch to hold off a late bid from Agate Road by 1 1/4 lengths under Paco Lopez.
“The pace was a little faster than I wanted, but his first and second quarters were very natural,” Lopez said. “I had plenty of horse the whole way and when he I asked him he gave me everything.”
Sent off the 3-1 favorite in a field of 12, No More Time paid $8.60 after covering the course in 1:43.26 over a fast track. No More Time races for Morplay Racing and is trained by Jose D’Angelo.
Agate Road finished more than five lengths clear of 31-1 longshot West Saratoga. Elysian Meadows finished fourth and was followed by Fulmineo, Crazy Mason, Tireless, El Principito, Patriot Spirit, Copper Tax, and Change of Command. Everdoit lost his rider at the start.
The Sam Davis was the second win in four starts for No More Time, who finished second and then first in a pair of maiden attempts at Gulfstream last fall prior to his troubled run in the Mucho Macho Man.
No More Time earned 20 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby. Agate Road earned 10 points, while West Saratoga secured six points, thus boosting his total to 17 points. Elysian Meadows garnered four points and Fulmineo now has two points.
Bred in Iowa by MAMAS Thoroughbreds, No More Time was gaveled down for $40,000 at Keeneland September. He’s by Not This Time and out of Baroness Juliette, by Speightstown.
Three-year-old fillies had their turn to earn Kentucky Oaks (G1) qualifying points earlier in the card, in the $100,000 Suncoast S. Coming out on top was Power Squeeze, who parlayed a ground-saving trip into a 2 3/4-length triumph under Daniel Centeno as the 3-1 second choice in a field of six.
The disappointment in the race was 2-5 favorite Life Talk, the Demoiselle (G2) winner who came up empty in the stretch and finished last. It was the second notable disappointment by a three-year-old in the past week for owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher, who saw their champion colt Fierceness beaten at odds-on in last week’s Holy Bull (G3).
The Suncoast was the third win in a row for Power Squeeze, who returned $8 after completing one mile and 40 yards in 1:40.22. The daughter of Union Rags is owned by Lea Farms and is trained by Jorge Delgado.
Whocouldaskformo, who trailed most of the way, rallied for second by a head over America’s Vow. Next across the wire were Managing Mischief, Gorgeous Girl, and the aforementioned Life Talk.
Fourth and second in her first two outings last summer, Power Squeeze then graduated by 4 1/2 lengths at Delaware Park over one mile. She stepped up to stakes company on New Year’s Day, taking the Cash Run S. at Gulfstream by five lengths.
Bred by Forging Oaks Farm in Kentucky, Power Squeeze last sold for $90,000 at the OBS April juvenile sale. She was reared by the multiple stakes winner Callmethesqueeze, a daughter of Awesome Again who has also reared the stakes-winning Call On Mischief.
Power Squeeze now has 20 qualifying points for the Kentucky Oaks. Whocouldaskformo earned 10 points, America’s Vow six points, Managing Mischief four points, and Gorgeous Girl two points.
Sibelius came on in the final strides to defeat 12-1 chance Mish by a neck in the $75,000 Pelican S., thus defending his title in the six-furlong dash for older horses.
Sibelius, along with even-money favorite Nakatomi, who finished 1 1/2 lengths farther back in third, were using the Pelican as a prep for the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at Meydan in late March. Sibelius, a six-year-old by Not This Time, won last year’s Golden Shaheen by a nose.
Ridden in the Pelican by Junior Alvarado, Sibelius paid $6.80 after completing the distance in 1:08.90. He is owned Jun Park and Delia Nash, and is trained by Jerry O’Dwyer.
Chi Town Lady also arrived on the scene in time to take the $50,000 Minaret S. for fillies and mares by a neck under Tyler Gaffalione. The 3-1 second choice edged Unifying, with 2-1 Dream Concert three parts of a length back in fourth.
Owned by Castleton Lyons and trained by Wesley Ward, Chi Town Lady paid $8 after covering six furlongs in 1:09.29.
A five-year-old by Verrazano, Chi Town Lady earned her signature victory in the 2022 Test (G1).