No More Time Speeds to Victory in Sam F. Davis; Moves onto Derby Trail

Quick out of the gate, No More Time led from the start and never gave in when challenged for a 1 ¼-length victory in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, moving onto the road to the Kentucky Derby (G1).

“He’s a small horse with a big heart,’’ trainer Jose D’Angelo said after winning his first graded stakes race in the United States.

On the Fast Track: No More Time’s Journey to the Kentucky Derby

No More Time, the 3-1 favorite, broke from post 5 under Paco Lopez, who moved the dark bay to the rail and right to the lead.

The son of Not This Time maintained a slight edge over 4-1 second choice Change of Command early, West Saratoga at the top of the stretch, and easily held off a late rally by co-second choice Agate Road.

A $40,000 purchase by Morplay Racing, Iowa-bred No More Time ($8.60 for a $2 win bet) earned 20 Derby qualifying points with his second win in four starts. Agate Road, trained by Todd Pletcher, rallied in the stretch for second and 10 Derby points.

Surprise at the Derby: West Saratoga Secures a Spot in the Top Three

West Saratoga, a surprising 31-1, finished third in the field of 12 3-year-olds and picked up 6 Derby points; Elysian Meadows was fourth (4 Derby points); and Fulmineo was fifth for 2 Derby points.

Crazy Mason was sixth, followed by Tireless, El Principito, Patriot Spirit, Copper Tax, Change of Command, and Everdolt.

Everdolt hit the gate at the start and jockey Huber Villa-Gomez was thrown from the horse.

The winning time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.26 over a fast track.

From Gulfstream to the Derby Dream: No More Time’s Rising Momentum

No More Time ran fifth in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 1; he started poorly out of post 1 but was running strong at the end. D’Angelo convinced the owners to pass on last week’s Holy Bull (G3), believing one more workout would have him ready for the 1 1 1/16-mile Sam F. Davis. He was right.

“Paco said, ‘He was just playing with them,’ ‘’ co-owner Rich Mendez said. “It’s 20 points to getting to the dream (the Derby).”

“It’s a tough road (to the Derby), but we’ll try to get there,’’ D’Angelo said.


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