WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC's Vinceremos gallantly prevailed in a four-way photo to take the $250,000 Sam F. Davis S. (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday (VIDEO
Vinceremos is the second 3-year-old colt by Pioneerof the Nile to win a graded stake in the past eight days. Last Saturday, Cairo Prince romped by six lengths in the Grade 2 Holy Bull S. and is likely to make his next start in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1).
The mile and one sixteenth Sam Davis was full of drama, even before the stretch run. Vinceremos secured the rail after breaking very alertly to duel with Cousin Stephen for the lead. Vinceremos began to drop back on the turn, fading to fourth, before gamely re-rallying once again along the rail. With Edgar Prado urging the dark bay colt on, he had enough left to hold off a late-closing Harpoon by a nose. There was just a length separating the top four finishers.
“He was relaxed and I was confident that he would be there for me when I asked,” Prado said. “The pace picked up getting into the turn but I didn’t want to use what we had that soon so I let them get away from us. Entering the stretch there was still room on the inside and he responded when I set him down. He was still going strong to the finish, but I knew it would be close.”
Vinceremos is now 2-for-3 with a second. The winner’s share of $120,000 raised his earnings to $153,600.
“It’s too early to think about what’s next,” trainer Todd Pletcher said by telephone. “Everything is in play, like always. You can certainly make a case for going back to Tampa.”
Randy Gullatt, racing manager for co-owner Twin Creeks Racing Stables who attended with his wife Kim, was looking forward to a return trip to Tampa.
“I would think the (Grade 2, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 8) is the next logical race and if he is doing well, that would be Todd’s choice,” Gullatt said. “We are learning about this horse every time. Edgar didn’t want to make the lead too quick with him because he wants to wait on other horses. If he has a target, Edgar says he digs in, and you just have to be patient and not make the lead too quick.”
By winning, WinStar and Twin Creeks become eligible for the Tampa Bay Downs Million Dollar Derby Bonus, payable if Vinceremos goes on to win the Tampa Bay Derby and the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 3.
Vinceremos is out of the More Than Ready mare Kettle's Sister, whose half-brother Kettle Won placed in the Grade 3 Fort Lauderdale H. They come from the same family as graded stakes winners Safely Kept and Partner's Hero.