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State of Play targets Sam F. Davis Stakes

Could there be another Animal Kingdom residing on the backstretch at Tampa Bay Downs?


Saturday morning, State of Play, a horse with several similarities to the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, breezed a leisurely five furlongs over the Tampa Bay main track in 1:03.


Like Animal Kingdom, who made just two starts as a juvenile in 2010, State of Play was lightly raced at 2 last year, making just three starts. He won at first asking while sprinting over the turf at Saratoga, then jumped right in against graded stakes company for the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes to lead that 1 1/16-mile race from start to finish. Off from September to early November, State of Play drew the tough 13 post in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He held a striking position into the stretch, before fading to 12th in the race won by Wrote.

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