Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Sports

Falling Sky wins Sam F. Davis Stakes

OLDSMAR — Many thought a Sky colt would win the Grade III $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. They just didn't think it would be Falling Sky, who held off Dynamic Sky and survived an objection to capture the Kentucky Derby point qualifier in front of 5,862 on Festival Preview Day.

Making his first start — and career debut at two turns — for new owners Newtown Anner Stud, James Covello and Joseph Bulger, Falling Sky ($17.80) won by a neck in gate-to-wire fashion as the fourth wagering favorite in the field of nine. My Name Is Michael, the 8-5 favorite, was third, and Speak Logistics — whose rider, Angel Serpa, claimed foul against the winner — was fourth. The top four finishers earned points in the new Kentucky Derby qualifying scoring system on a scale of 10-4-2-1

Falling Sky, a 3-year-old colt by Lion Heart, stumbled slightly leaving the gate under first-time rider Jose Espinoza. He was quickly sent to the lead and set fractions of 23.49 and 47.68 seconds.

On the final turn, three rivals closed in on Falling Sky, with Speak Logistics trying to sneak through along the rail. But Falling Sky held his position, and Speak Logistics had to take up, losing all momentum. After that, Falling Sky had to deal with only Dynamic Sky, who was cutting into a 2-length deficit with every stride.

It took track stewards only a short time to disallow Serpa's claim of foul.

The winning time for 11/16th miles was 1 minute, 44.79 seconds.

"I saw somebody come behind me when I switched to the lead right at the (second) turn," Espinoza said. "(Speak Logistics) was bumping me from behind. Then my horse gave a break and really kicked in at the end. (My goal is to) win the Kentucky Derby."

Said Falling Sky trainer John Terranova II: "We were hoping to break a little cleaner, but we expected to either be in the front or in the stalking position. Obviously, the Tampa Bay Derby (on March 9) is under consideration (next)."

It was the third victory from four starts for Falling Sky, who raised his career earnings to $164,800 with the $120,000 paycheck. The Pennsylvania-bred was purchased Jan. 15 for a session-topping $425,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. winter mixed sale at the recommendation of racing manager Nick Sallusto.

Dynamic Sky, the 9-5 second wagering pick, had no excuses, trainer Mark Casse said. "Luis (Contreras, the jockey) said he switched leads late," Casse said. "Once he switched, (Dynamic Sky) started coming, but it was just a little too little, too late. (On Serpa's objection), you don't really want to win that way."

Jockey Joel Rosario won two Grade III $150,000 stakes races on the 11/16th-mile turf course. In the Endeavour, Old Tune ($8.20) broke a 14-year track record with a clocking of 1:39.30. Tapicat ($3.80) won the Florida Oaks in a stakes-record time of 1:39.78.

Comments
Tyler Johnson hat trick sends Lightning past Hurricanes

Tyler Johnson hat trick sends Lightning past Hurricanes

TAMPA — Fans who attended Tuesday's Lightning-Hurricanes game heard more than their fair share of Chuck Berry's song Johnny B. Goode.Center Tyler Johnson's goal song, with its signature line Go go, go Johnny go, blared over the loudspeakers not...
Updated: 5 hours ago
How the Lightning beat the Hurricanes 4-2

How the Lightning beat the Hurricanes 4-2

Louis Domingue couldn't turn his head well, but he wasn't going to let that keep him from his first start in 19 days.The Lightning goalie tweaked his neck playing basketball, warming up before the game, and still couldn't turn his head after the game...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Beloved wife of Tarpon Springs football coach dies

Beloved wife of Tarpon Springs football coach dies

Artemis Kotis, the widely admired wife of Tarpon Springs High football coach George Kotis, died after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 49."She is a much bigger name than me in this community," George Kotis said of his wife. "She helped ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
District volleyball: Holy Names moves on, Berkeley Prep bows out

District volleyball: Holy Names moves on, Berkeley Prep bows out

CLEARWATER — Academy of the Holy Names advanced to the Class 5A, District 9 final after a thrilling 25-17, 15-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11 win over No. 2 seed Clearwater Central Catholic on Tuesday night. The win guarantees the Jaguars (18-8) a regi...
Updated: 5 hours ago

District volleyball: No easy path to final for Sunlake, Mitchell

LAND O' LAKES — Regarded all season as possibly the most competitive volleyball district in Tampa Bay, the 7A-8 semifinals promised to be pretty dramatic. And although the top two seeds eventually prevailed, did they ever have to sweat it out.T...
Updated: 6 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Tuesday, October 16

Tuesday’s scoreboardBoys swimmingShorecrest 177, Northside Chr. 127Girls swimmingShorecrest 188, Northside Chr. 110
Updated: 6 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Wednesday, October 17

TODAYBaseball playoffsNLCS: Brewers at Dodgers5 p.m.FS1ALCS: Red Sox at Astros8:30 p.m.TBS; 620-AMCollege volleyballMississippi State at Alabama7 p.m.ESPNUSouth Carolina at Arkansas8 p.m.SECKansas at Kansas State9 p.m.ESPNUGolfLPGA Senior Championshi...
Updated: 6 hours ago

District volleyball: St. Petersburg pulls out a five-setter vs. East Lake

ST. PETERSBURG — Three quality candidates but only two spaces available in the next round, a shot at a state title on the line.The elevated stakes showed in Tuesday's opening Class 8A-10 district semifinal as host St. Petersburg and East Lake l...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli is one of five finalists for the Blue Jays manager's job, Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reported.Three other finalists were said to be Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Giants farm director David Bell and Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: We need cooler water, and fast

Warm waters in the gulf remain a nuisance for anglers. We are ready for cooler temperatures. Normally, the high is 81 degrees at this time. Even with shorter days, revealing less hours of sunlight, it’s not the case. This is probably one of the worst...
Updated: 9 hours ago