by Jerry Shottenkirk
February 9, 2019
Knicks Go put himself into the conversation when it came to top 2-year-olds last fall as he made a huge pari-mutuel dent in a couple of Grade 1 races. After a gate to wire 5.5-length score in the Breeders’ Futurity (at a mere 70-to-1) at Keeneland, he rolled right back with second behind champion Game Winner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs (40-1).
The Ben Colebrook-trained Paynter colt on Saturday makes his 1st start of 2019 in the Gr. 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, and after a disappointing 11th- place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill, his connections are hopeful he can get back to top form.
The Sam F. Davis leads to the Tampa Bay Derby, which ultimately leads to the Kentucky Derby. It’s a solid race year after year, and this season it’s no different. The race is the 11th on the card and the third leg of the late Pick 4, which, as usual, piques our interest.
If Knicks Go gets back to that front-running energy that put him among the top 2-year-olds in the country last year, he’ll make short work of these. But, being that this is 1st of the year, he might carry some vulnerability. A potential upsetter is So Alive from the Todd Pletcher barn. He has won two of three and prepped for this with a win on Jan. 6. He has worked well since then and seemed to have really come back to life after an off-the-board since to end 2018 at Churchill. Knicks Go and So Alive are both on the suggested Pick 4 ticket. This ticket is contingent on Rymska scratching from the 10th race (Endeavor Stakes) and running in Gulfstream’s Suwannee River Stakes instead.
Here’s the suggested ticket for the late Pick 4 at Tampa Bay Downs:
Race 9) #1 Her Royal Highness, #2 Winning Envelope, #3 Tapit’s Princess, #9 Sweet Diane.
Race 10) #2 Get Explicit, #3 Bonnie Arch, #5 Conquest Hardcandy, #6 Hawksmoor, #11 Bombshell.
Race 11) #3 Knicks Go, #8 So Alive.
Race 12) #1 Adios Nardo, #4 At the Ready, #8 Gray Dude.
50-cent Pick 4: 1-2-3-9 with 2-3-5-6-11 with 3-8 with 1-4-8. ($60)