Tampa Bay Downs- Sam F. Davis Stakes

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Matt Carter

January 31st, 2014

Sam F. Davis Stakes Tampa Bay Downs Saturday, February 1, 2014 Race 9, Post Time 4:25 pm ET

If you can excuse his last race, COUSIN STEPHEN stands out on Saturday in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. The son of Proud Citizen broke his maiden at nine furlongs by over seven lengths at Aqueduct back in November then was given two months off before coming back in an allowance at Gulfstream Park. He was sent off as the 8-5 favorite, but could not keep up late and finished fifth. He has a pace advantage over his rival, NOBLE CORNERSTONE, and picked up one of the best jockeys at Tampa, Daniel Centeno. NOBLE CORNERSTONE has not run since finishing second, beaten a neck, at Remington Park in the Springboard Mile. Trainer Wesley Ward has four wins with his six starters at the meet and will retain the services of the suddenly hot-riding Kent Desormeaux. The one odd thing is that after two good starts, Ward takes the blinkers off. In third, going to side with ASSERTING BEAR from the Reade Baker stable. ASSERTING BEAR has only run on the turf and Polytrack at Woodbine, but horses from that track do run well over the deep surface at the Oldsmar oval. He should be positioned close to the pace and should get first run on the closers. HARPOON and VINCEREMOS both just broke their maiden and that would normally not get any looks in a stakes race, but the uncoupled pair are trained by Todd Pletcher and would be worth a long look if bet. VINCEREMOS is also entered in the Grade 3 Hutcheson at Gulfstream on Saturday, a race headlined by the fast Wildcat Red.