In a battle of three-year-old colts from the Invoice Mott barn, it was Sweet Man Rocket who outran stablemate Nova Rags to the wire Saturday (February 6), successful the Grade 3, US$250,000 Sam F Davis Stakes.
Sweet Man Rocket — named each for sire Sweet Trip and for proprietor Frank Fletcher’s long-haired German Shepherd, Rocket — coated the 1 1/16 miles at Tampa Bay Downs in 1:44.30.
The Sam F Davis rating earned Sweet Man Rocket his first 10 factors on the Street to the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Additionally incomes Derby factors Saturday, February 6 have been second via fourth-place runners Nova Rags (4), Hidden Stash (two) and Boca Boy (one), whereas 3-2 favorite Identified Agenda missed out on any factors by ending fifth.
Sweet Man Rocket was seventh on debut for Mott on November 22 at Churchill Downs, however then routed a Gulfstream Park maiden discipline by 9¼ lengths January 9 for his first win. Following that 6 ½-furlong rating, the Corridor of Fame coach requested the colt to go a full two furlongs additional within the Sam F Davis, native prep for the US$400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 6.
Below jockey Junior Alvarado, Sweet Man Rocket went towards the entrance and rated behind tempo setter Boca Boy. That 19-1 shot went via fractions of 23.35, 46.94 and 1:10.80.
Sweet Man Rocket moved ahead via the far flip, coming to Boca Boy’s exterior and shortly dispatching him. As he made that transfer three-wide, fellow Mott trainee Nova Rags — last-out winner of Tampa’s Pasco Stakes — made his bid alongside the rail.
Alvarado positioned Sweet Man Rocket to the within, whereas Nova Rags shifted out, seeking to get by his stablemate. Nova Rags pushed Sweet Man Rocket down the stretch, however the latter prevailed by a size.
“He does not have an actual fast flip of foot, however he began grinding it out so I began choosing it up and was actually happy by the quarter pole turning for residence,” Alvarado mentioned. “On the sixteenth pole after I switched my persist with the suitable and confirmed it to him to see what I had left, he put his head low and saved grinding his method there.”
Sweet Man Rocket and Nova Rags are the primary two runners to earn 2021 Kentucky Derby factors for Mott, coach of 2019 Derby hero Nation Home.
“Clearly ( Sweet Man Rocket) has some tactical velocity and he put Junior in an excellent spot,” Mott mentioned. “He received into an actual good consolation zone down the bottom and Junior let him out a notch going to the three/8 pole and at that time there wasn’t an entire lot coming from behind. He hit the entrance somewhat bit early, which was regarding — he is nonetheless inexperienced and generally after they get to the entrance too early, they have an inclination to wander.
“Junior saved him to the duty and he actually ran on properly and handed the two-turn take a look at.”
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