12/01/2016 1:40PM

Bargain buy Obvious One stands out in Inaugural Stakes

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OLDSMAR, Fla. – To most of the buyers at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic yearling sale in October 2015, there was nothing obviously appealing about Obvious One. But trainer Jason DaCosta saw potential in the son of Bodemeister and scooped him up for the bargain price of $5,500.

“He was a good physical specimen and looked very athletic, and I liked the young stallion Bodemeister – he was a good runner,” DaCosta said. “So, all that put together is why I bought him.”

Since then, Obvious One has made it obvious that he has some talent, winning his two starts by a combined 12 1/4 lengths to stamp himself as a major contender in Saturday’s $100,000 Inaugural Stakes. The first stakes race of the Tampa Bay Downs meeting is a six-furlong sprint that drew a field of eight juveniles.

Obvious One scored by 6 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight race at Thistledown in September and came back in October to win a first-level allowance by 5 3/4 lengths there. The 77 Beyer Speed Figure he earned for that six-furlong allowance win stands out in Saturday’s field.

“He’s a talented horse, and he’s just a runner,” DaCosta said. “He’s an athlete. We gave him a little break after those races at Thistledown, and he’s been training well. I think he’s got a big shot.”

:: INAUGURAL STAKES: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live

DaCosta also will start Downtownbigbrown, a Big Brown gelding who won consecutive starts at Thistledown by a combined 22 1/2 lengths in October but lacks the strong speed figures of his stablemate.

“He might be suited to longer distances, but he’s another horse who has a lot of scope and a lot of potential, so we’re going to take a shot in the stakes race,” DaCosta said.

Inaugural, Race 7

KEY CONTENDERS

Obvious One, by Bodemeister

Beyers: 77-61

◗ He has been training steadily for his stakes debut, with four breezes last month, including two over the local strip.

Double Down Drama, by Big Drama

◗ Trainer Jonathan Thomas unveiled an impressive debut winner here Wednesday in Big Papi, and this colt also appears to be well meant in his first start, as evidenced by his four-furlong breeze from the gate in 48.60 seconds here Nov. 19. Angel Cruz was aboard Big Papi and has the mount on Double Down Drama from the outside post.

Chance of Luck, by Skipshot

Beyer: 64

◗ Conditioned by leading trainer Gerald Bennett and his wife, Mary, he romped by 5 1/2 lengths in his only start, a $40,000 maiden claimer going seven furlongs at Laurel Park in October.

Downtownbigbrown, by Big Brown

Last 3 Beyers: 43-47-45

◗ His speed figures don’t impress, but he wasn’t asked for his best in his two wins, which came just seven days apart in October. His two local breezes were sharp.