Kaufy Mate tallied a stunning upset at odds of 34-1 over grade II winner The Cliff's Edge in the $100,000 Sam F. Davis for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday.
A former claiming horse ridden by Ramsey Zimmerman, Kaufy Mate drove to the lead at the head of the stretch and drew away in the lane to defeat the late-running 1-2 choice, The Cliff's Edge, by 1 3/4 lengths. The final time was 1:44 3/5 for the 1 1/16-mile test over a fast track.
The Nick Zito-trained The Cliff's Edge, making his first start since winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 29, showed no early speed under jockey Shane Sellers, trailing in the 11-horse field early while racing wide down the backstretch. He swept up five wide on the home turn and moved into position to challenge the leader in the stretch, but was outrun. He finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Zakocity.
``I thought we were going to be OK,'' trainer Nick Zito said. ``But look how far out he was. Look how wide he was. He just never got around those horses. He might have gotten tired.''
Zito said he wasn't sure where or when his Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopeful The Cliff's Edge will run again.
``I'm disappointed, but he didn't run that bad,'' Zito said. ``A better post might have made a difference, and he might not have been as fit as he could have been.''
Kaufy Mate won a one-mile maiden claiming race by 10 ¾ lengths at Calder on Oct. 30. The Florida-bred gray colt by Diligence
was seventh in his most recent start, the seven-furlong Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay on Jan. 17. He has won three of five starts for trainer Kirk Ziadie, earning $85,730 for owner Gregory Kaufman. Saturday's winning purse was $57,500.
The winner is not an early nominee to the Triple Crown.
Kaufy Mate paid $71.40, $13 and $5.20. The Cliff's Edge returned $3 and $2.40. Zakocity, who was ridden by Jesus Castanon, showed for $3.