Well Defined Upsets Sam F. Davis

11th at TAM, Gr. Stk, 250,000GIII Sam F. Davis S. (1 1/16m)Winner: Well Defined, g, 3 by With Distinction

Well Defined | SV Photography

Well Defined (With Distinction), a 7-1 shot, set all the pace and came home an authoritative 2 3/4-length victor, while favored Knicks Go (Paynter) faded to fifth as the Tampa Bay Downs path to the Kentucky Derby kicked off with the GIII Sam F. Davis S. at the Oldsmar oval Saturday. Well Defined, adding blinkers for the Davis, sprinted out to the early lead and enjoyed a clear advantage through fractions of :23.23 and :47.09 with Knicks Go his closest pursuer. The favorite was asked for more midway on the turn, but Well Defined scampered further clear into the lane with only the late-running Kentucky Wildcat (Tapit) offering any sort of threat in the closing strides.

“That's very, very special to do it at Tampa Bay,” said winning trainer Kathleen O'Connell. “He's had little things that have happened and he's grown up mentally and physically, and today he showed up with his game face on. I like this horse a lot and the decision [on what's next] will be up to the owners, but we just want him healthy.”

The front-running victory was no surprise to jockey Pablo Morales.

“This horse has a ton of natural talent and I was going to take advantage of that,” Morales said. “I wasn't too worried about where I was going to be because we were really lucky with the draw position on the outside, so I figured I was going to ride a cool race. The horse is naturally fast and has a super-long stride.

I was going to come out running, but if somebody wanted to take the lead, I was OK with that. My horse was going as comfortable as he possibly could. I knew he was doing it relaxed and very much on his own. I had a lot of horse going into the second turn, so I figured I was going to ask him a little more and not wait for them to get me. If they were going to catch me, they were really going to have to come running.”

Kentucky Wildcat, coming off a maiden score at Aqueduct Dec. 1, stormed into contention turning for home and briefly looked to have a chance in the lane, but was unable to match the winner's strides late. He was pulled up after the wire and vanned back to the barn.

Knicks Go, runner-up in last year's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, settled for fifth in his first outing since finishing 11th over a sloppy track in the Nov. 24 GII Kentucky Jockey Club S.

“Albin [Jimenez] said he was getting out a little around the turn, so I don't know what to make of that,” trainer Ben Colebrook said of the beaten favorite. “It looked like he had dead aim and then he kind of flattened out. It didn't go the way we wanted, but hopefully there will be another day.”

A maiden winner on debut at Gulfstream last June, Well Defined earned a trip to the Breeders' Cup with a 7 1/2-length romp in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes last September. He came home a well-beaten 12th behind champion Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}) in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile and opened his sophomore campaign with a fifth-place effort behind Mihos (Candy Ride {Arg}) in the Jan. 5 Mucho Macho Man S.

“He is kind of a free-running horse,” O'Connell said. “His rear end slipped out from underneath him in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and he was compromised on early position when he ran in the Mucho Macho Man and got bottled up inside, but he's a young horse who is improving, mind-wise and everything-wise.”

Pedigree Notes:

Well Defined is out of the unraced Fru Fru. Gilbert Campbell's Stonehedge purchased the mare for $18,000 at the 2013 OBS January sale. She produced a filly by Khozan last year and was bred back to Greenpointcrusader. The winner's second dam is Lolabell, who won the 1999 Minaret S.

Stonehedge's colors have also been carried to graded stakes success by Always Sunshine (West Acre), who captured the 2016 GIII Maryland Sprint H.

Well Defined is the second graded stakes winner for his sire, With Distinction. With Distinction is also the sire of multiple graded stakes winner Distinctiv Passion.

Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs
SAM F. DAVIS S.-GIII, $250,000, Tampa Bay Downs, 2-9, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:42.70, ft.
1–WELL DEFINED, 122, g, 3, by With Distinction
1st Dam: Fru Fru, by Medaglia d'Oro
2nd Dam: Lolabell, by Phone Trick
3rd Dam: Private Dish, by Private Account
T-Kathleen O'Connell; J-Pablo Morales. $170,000. Lifetime
Record: 7-3-1-1, $490,570. Werk Nick Rating: C+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Kentucky Wildcat, 118, c, 3, Tapit–Better Lucky, by
Ghostzapper. O/B-Godolphin LLC (KY); T-Thomas Albertrani.
3–So Alive, 118, c, 3, Super Saver–Mythical Bride, by Street Cry
(Ire). ($160,000 Ylg '17 KEESEP). O-Robert V. LaPenta; B-John
D. Gunther (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $20,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, 8 3/4, 1HF. Odds: 7.00, 2.90, 3.40.
Also Ran: Counter Offer, Knicks Go, Five Star General, Still Dreaming, Moonster, Going for Gold. Scratched: Cave Run.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.


Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.