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Candy Man Rocket Tops Mott Exacta in Sam F. Davis
Credit: SV Photography

Candy Man Rocket Tops Mott Exacta in Sam F. Davis

OLDSMAR, FL – Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s barn hit the exacta when Candy Man Rocket led stablemate Nova Rags across the wire in Saturday’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.

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Candy Man Rocket was a 1-length victor under Junior Alvarado as the 3/1 favorite after stalking three-wide from up close. He completed the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route in 1:44.30.

“The horses outside started moving a little bit (nearing the far turn) and started putting some pressure on, and all I had to do was use my horse a little to hold my spot,” Alvarado said. “He doesn’t have a real quick turn of foot, but he started grinding it out, so I started picking it up and was really pleased by the 1/4 pole turning for home. At the 1/16 pole, when I switched my stick to the right and showed it to him to see what I had left, he put his head low and kept grinding his way there.”

Credit: SV Photography

Nova Rags necked out Hidden Stash for second after also closely attending the pace that Boca Boy set before fading to fourth by a neck over Known Agenda.

Lucky LawJoe Man JoeRicochetSmiley SobotkaLast InvestmentMillean, and Runway Magic completed the order of finish in the race restricted to 3-year-olds.

Tiz Tact Toe failed to draw in as an Also Eligible.

The Sam F. Davis is part of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Candy Man Rocket earned 10 points for the win, with Nova Rags receiving 4 for second, Hidden Stash 2 for third, and Boca Boy 1 for fourth.

Candy Man Rocket’s win was his second straight following a maiden-breaking effort at Gulfstream Park on January 9 and improved his overall record to 3-2-0-0. The Candy Ride colt has now earned $144,824 for owner Frank Fletcher.

“We have to see how the horses come back,” assistant trainer Riley Mott said regarding the barn’s stars’ next starts. “Nova Rags has had 2 races in three weeks, and to bring him back in four (for the Tampa Bay Derby [G2]), we just have to look at the calendar and see what the options are. As far as Candy Man Rocket, he went over the track today, but we have to see how they come back.”

Get Smokin returned $10 to win, $6 to place, and $4.60 to show. Eons brought back $13.40 to place and $9.20 to show, while Admission Office paid $4.20 to show.

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