01/30/2013 5:53PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Dynamic Sky returns for Sam Davis Stakes

Tom Keyser
South Florida-based Dynamic Sky already has a win over the Tampa Bay Downs track.

OLDSMAR, Fla. – Dynamic Sky’s explosive burst carried him to victory in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 12 and hinted that he may have Triple Crown potential. He will take the next step toward such a goal Saturday when he tops a field of 10 3-year-olds entered Wednesday for the Grade 3, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, the highlight of Festival Preview Day at Tampa.

The 1 1/16-mile Davis is the feature on a program that also includes two turf stakes, the Grade  3, $150,000 Florida Oaks and the Grade 3, $150,000 Endeavour Stakes for fillies and mares. The Davis is the local prep for the Grade 2, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 9.

Dynamic Sky was rated behind rivals for more than five furlongs in the seven-furlong Pasco then displayed a dazzling turn of foot that carried him to a three-quarter-length win in 1:22.79, less than a second off the track record.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Trainer Mark Casse was impressed with Dynamic Sky’s effort, but said he came out of the race a “little hot” on a day that was unseasonably warm and humid. Casse said he had given some thought to passing the Davis.

“He was hot after the Pasco, but he bounced back so well we decided to go ahead and point for the Davis,” Casse said from his Palm Meadows headquarters. “At this point in the year, every one of these races are like mini-auditions, you have to keep getting a passing grade to advance to the next stage. Dynamic Sky passed his first test somewhat impressively, now we’re just hopeful he’ll continue to improve.”

The Davis is one of the Road to the Derby qualifying races introduced by Churchill Downs. The first- through fourth-place finishers will earn points on a 10-4-2-1 basis.

[SAM F. DAVIS: Get Tampa Bay Downs PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

Speak Logistics, who will be making his first start since finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, should be one of the top challengers.

Falling Sky, who is 2 for 3 lifetime and was fourth to Purple Egg in the Inaugural Stakes at Tampa in his only defeat, and My Name is Michael, who was second in the Display at Woodbine in his final outing as a juvenile, also deserve consideration.

Endeavour: Dealbata enters fresh

Dealbata makes her first start since September in the Endeavour. The Chad Brown trainee has been no worse than second in three starts in the United States, including a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel Stakes at Belmont Park in September. The 1  1/16-mile Endeavour drew a field of 14 filly and mare turf runners.

Hooh Why, second in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf last out, and Brazilian-bred Old Tune, who makes her U.S. debut Saturday, top the challengers to Dealbata.

Florida Oaks has field of 12

Tapicat, winner of her last two in front-running fashion, tries stakes company for the first time in the Grade 3, $150,000 Florida Oaks. The 1 1/16-mile turf race drew a field of 12.

Local favorite Cotton Pickin, a winner the last time she raced over the Tampa turf course, tops the challengers along with the undefeated Rusty Slipper from the Graham Motion barn and Wave Theory, who was a fast-closing second in the Ginger Brew Stakes at Gulfstream Park in her most recent start.