His one-turn prowess is unquestioned, but Independence Hall's ability around two turns will be put to the test for the first time on Saturday in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.
The son of Constitution figures to be a strong favorite in the 1 1/16-mile test, a tune-up for next month's Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and a Road to the Kentucky Derby series prep which will award qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers.
Independence Hall has been a dominating winner in all three starts, including a 12 1/4-length score in the Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct held on Breeders' Cup weekend. Sitting out the final major juvenile races of the year, Independence Hall returned in the Jerome S. at Aqueduct on New Year's Day and, despite an awkward start, won comfortably by four lengths over the Big A's one-turn mile. He earned 10 Derby points for the win, and looks to double his tally in the Davis.
"Knock wood, he's been good," said trainer Mike Trombetta of Independence Hall, who's worked four times over the Tampa surface since his arrival from Fair Hill in Maryland.
Independence Hall was installed at 10-1 on the morning line for this weekend's Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW). Premier Star, who's won both starts for trainer Jorge Navarro, is the only other Davis entry that's an individual betting interest in the KDFW with an early price of 50-1.
Premier Star is also trying two turns for the first time, while Ajaaweed and Solo Volante already have useful experience going a distance. Ajaaweed was last seen finishing a half-length second in the nine-furlong Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct on Dec. 7, while Solo Volante won his first two starts, including the Pulpit S., around two turns on the turf. He was most recently third in the Mucho Macho Man S. going a mile at Gulfstream.
The Sam F. Davis is the 11th race on Tampa's 12-race card Saturday. You can watch and wager at TwinSpires.com.