Karakontie’s Sole Volante reached new heights in Saturday’s Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, earning 10 points toward the Kentucky Derby.
Trainer Patrick Biancone purchased the son of Karakontie–Light Blow, by Kingmambo, for $20,000 at the 2019 OBS April Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. Now a 3-year-old gelding, Sole Volante paid the Biancones and their partners back in handsome fashion Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, upsetting Independence Hall by 2 ½ lengths in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes.
“We love him a lot,” trainer Biancone said after Sole Volante raced the 1 1/16-mile test in 1:42.60, .16 seconds off the stakes record. “He’s fantastic on the turf (2-for-2, including a victory in the Pulpit Stakes at Gulfstream) and in America, the life is the dirt, so I ran him in a sprint race on the dirt at Gulfstream just to see if he could handle it and let him take some kickback.” He tired late in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream, finishing third, but displayed no fatigue in the Sam F. Davis.
In the Mucho Macho Man Stakes, “he did everything perfectly but ran a little bit early that day and struggled a little the last 1/16,” Biancone said. “Today I said to (jockey) Luca (Panici), let him relax and run the last 3/8-mile and that’s what he did. This horse has a lot of stamina, but nothing is cast in stone. So we’ll see how he comes back and how he progresses. We have plenty of races to choose from – maybe we’ll come back here in a month (for the Grade 2, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby).”
Panici said he knew he was a winner when he asked Sole Volante for his best on the far turn. “We knew from the beginning he’s a good horse. He’s very intelligent and when you ask him something, he’s a quick learner,” Panici said. “When he took off, I never had a doubt (he would catch Independence Hall).”
Sole Volante, which is Italian for flying sun, is owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, which controls 60 percent of the horse. Andie Biancone and Limelight Stables Corp. are 20-percent owners.
Karakontie, the only 2nd-crop sire with graded stakes winners on dirt and turf, stands at Gainesway for $10,000.