Last weekend's Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs had only a nominal effect on the Road to the Kentucky Derby series standings with the winning Well Defined (#13, 10 points) entering the top 20 and runner-up Kentucky Wildcat (#24, 4) likely to miss the Derby altogether after incurring a reported condylar fracture during the running of the race.

The disappointment of the Sam F. Davis field was the favorite Knicks Go (#2, 18), who finished fifth. It was the second consecutive unplaced effort for the colt following a sub-par effort in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in November.

Despite a victory in the Breeders' Futurity (G1) and a solid second-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), Knicks Go's status as a legitimate Derby contender is in doubt off recent form. He'll soon need a turnaround in form to earn enough points to qualify for Derby participation.

Meanwhile, Champagne (G1) winner Complexity was removed from Derby participation by trainer Chad Brown. He had been sitting in 10th place prior to last weekend.

The standings should see a bigger shakeup this coming weekend with the Risen Star (G2) and El Camino Real Derby on Saturday, and the Southwest (G3) on Monday. The Risen Star is the first 50-20-10-5 prep of the series, virtually assuring its winner a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. The El Camino Real Derby and Southwest are the final 10-4-2-1 preps.

Among the confirmed entrants in the Risen Star are Lecomte (G3) winner War of Will (#12, 10), Hog Creek Hustle (#22, 4), Plus Que Parfait (#23, 4), Mr. Money (#25, 2), Manny Wah (#28, 2), Dunph (#29, 2), and Limonite (#35, 2).

Also this weekend, the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby continues with the one-mile Hyacinth Stakes at Tokyo. One spot each in the Kentucky Derby starting gate is reserved for the winner of that series and the European Road to the Kentucky Derby if the winners choose to accept their respective invitations.

(SV Photography)