Scully: Spot Plays for Tampa Bay Downs, Oaklawn Park Feb. 12

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February 11th, 2022

The first of two Kentucky Derby qualifiers at Tampa Bay Downs, the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3), highlights Saturday’s stakes action. Tampa will also offer a Kentucky Oaks qualifier, the Suncoast S., on its 11-race program.

A full field of 12 will head to the Davis starting gate, including four individual entrants in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager this weekend.

Along with a pair of Tampa plays, I’ll recommend a couple of horses on the 11-race card at Oaklawn Park.

Tampa Bay Downs

Pelican S., Race 7 (3:18 p.m. ET)

The six-furlong stakes will feature a big favorite in Baby Yoda, but he hasn’t run back to an allowance win last summer, disappointing at short odds on multiple occasions, and his recent Brisnet Speed numbers are on par with several rivals. #5 Pudding, a reformed claimer, returns to Tampa (9-4-2-1) following a couple of placings in Gulfstream stakes, netting commendable Speed figs (96 and 97), and the stalker is eligible to receive a favorable trip from his outside post.

Sam F. Davis (G3), Race 10 (4:54 p.m. ET)

Given the speed signed on, a hot and/or contested pace appears likely in the 1 1/16-mile Davis. And if #5 God of Love makes the transition to dirt, he should be rolling in the final furlongs. Bred for conventional main tracks, the Cupid colt will switch surfaces following an eye-catching performance in the Nov. 28 Grey S. (G3) on Woodbine’s Tapeta, rallying to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths, and God of Love has registered 109 and 101 Brisnet Late Pace ratings in the last two outings. The Mark Casse trainee is listed at an attractive 10-1 on the morning line.

Oaklawn Park

Race 9 (5:20 p.m. ET)

#5 Connie K loves Oaklawn, winning both starts convincingly, and the Arkansas-bred filly enters this open entry-level allowance on the improve for Randy Morse. Two starts back, she easily captured a starter allowance at Churchill Downs on the front end, and the four-year-old crushed state-bred foes wire-to-wire last time, registering a field-best 90 last-out Speed rating. She’s stepping up today, but Connie K won’t face the toughest competition and will look to take it to her opponents from the start.

Razorback H. (G3), Race 10 (5:56 p.m. ET)

#8 Plainsman drew widest of all when defeating a nice group of allowance rivals at Oaklawn last spring, and he returns to Hot Springs in good form, recording a fine third behind Americanrevolution and Following Seas in the Cigar Mile (G1) in early December. The seven-year-old appears to be training forwardly for Brad Cox, recording a five-furlong bullet work in preparation, and he looks poised for a strong showing on the front end with Joel Rosario.