Uptowncharlybrown will get his first serious class test today when he faces off with 8-5 morning line favorite Rule in the $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.
So far Uptowncharlybrown, the 2-1 morning line second-choice, has done everything right in his previous two starts at Tampa Bay.
In December, Uptowncharlybrown broke his maiden in a 6 ½ -furlong spint, winning by an impressive nine lengths and earning a 98 Brisnet Speed Figure for that effort. Last month, Uptowncharlybrown powered home to win the 7-furlong Pasco Stakes by another impressive six-length margin.
In the negative column, Uptowncharlybrown has yet to run in a route race and he has the least experience of the seven horses entered in the race. I don’t know if he can win this race but I expect him to be competitive.
Rule’s win in the Delta Jackpot (G3) has given him enough graded stakes earnings to run in the Kentucky Derby and trainer Todd Pletcher said that he looking for Rule to put in a good effort.
"What we're looking for here is a good comeback without him overdoing it while gradually building him up for a peak performance, hopefully, on Derby Day," said Pletcher in a Mike Welsch Daily Racing Form news story.
In his last three starts, Rule won going gate-to-wire, but I would not be surprised to see jockey Johnny Velazquez place Rule in the second or third spot to see if he can win from off the pace. In five starts, Rule has never been out of the money and I look for him to repeat that performance here today.
Schoolyard Dreams (6-1) comes into the race with two wins and a third-place finish in three starts for trainer Derek Ryan. Schoolyard Dreams speed figures have improved with each race and he adds blinkers for today’s contest. Schoolyard Dreams has been working out good and his bullet work on February 7 suggests that he should be ready to put in a good effort.
Robert B. Lewis
Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert has the opportunity today to win his fourth Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) and tie the record currently held by Charles Whittingham and Ron McAnally. Baffert’s chances look pretty good too as he sends 6-5 morning line favorite Tiz Chrome to the starting gate of the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.
Tiz Chrome has yet to run two turns and makes his graded-stakes debut. But he’s bred to go the distance and if he lives up to his breeding, I believe that Tiz Chrome is the most likely winner. Undefeated in two starts, Tiz Chrome comes into the race with 3 ¼ -length maiden win in a 6-furlong sprint at Churchill Downs last November. In December, Tiz Chrome powered home to a 4-length victory in the 6 ½ -furlong Stuka Stakes at Hollywood Park.
Caracortado (4-1) looks like an interesting long shot. Undefeated in four starts, Caracortado is also making his graded-stakes debut and comes into the race with a 1 ¾ -length win last December in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes at Santa Anita.
American Lion (9-5) has not raced in two months and will be stretching out in his first route race. He comes into the Lewis with a half-length win last November in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) at Hollywood Park. Last October, American Lion broke his maiden in a 7-furlong sprint at Keeneland Park by an impressive 6 ¾ -lengths.