Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trainers tie for title; money up as Tampa Bay Downs season closes

OLDSMAR — Backside workers headed for summer destinations and horse vans filled Race Track Road on Sunday as Tampa Bay Downs wrapped up its 2010-11 thoroughbred season. For the second consecutive year, the final day produced a dead heat for the trainer championship.

The Downs concluded its 85th year with gains in average attendance and handle from 2009-10. Attendance increased 3.5 percent to 3,197. Money wagered on the live product improved in every category: on-track, 1.2 percent at $219,680 daily average; in-state, 3.6 percent at $358,869; out-of-state, 9.4 percent at $3,962,409; and total all-source, 8.5 percent at $4,540,957. The Downs ran 90 days. It cancelled the Jan. 6 card with satellite issues. Statistics were available through Equibase, a company that monitors track data. Track vice president and general manager Peter Berube declined to comment.

Gerald Bennett, 67, won two races Sunday, including his final start with Irish Lion in Race 9 under leading jockey Ronnie Allen Jr., to share the conditioning title with Jamie Ness. Both horsemen saddled 61 winners. It was the first Downs crown for Bennett, who has 3,193 career victories. Ness, 36, has been atop the Downs standings for the past five seasons. Last year, he tied Kathleen O'Connell on the closing day.

Allen, 47, captured his first riding championship in 23 years with 109 victories. Angel Moreno was the top apprentice jockey with 17 wins. Midwest Thoroughbreds, Ness' top client, repeated as leading owner with a track-record 59 wins. Three horses tied for most wins at four: Generalissimo, Jr's Exchange and Mister Dish.

For the seventh time in eight years, the Downs sent its Tampa Bay Derby winner to the Kentucky Derby. O'Connell trainee Watch Me Go finished 18th on Saturday and is expected to go to Ocala for freshening.

"He's feeling very good, better than me," O'Connell told a Churchill Downs spokesperson in Louisville, Ky. "You can't go that wide in a race that long." She said Watch Me Go might be pointed toward the Grade II Virginia Derby on July 16 at Colonial Downs in New Kent.

The Downs' 92-day meet in 2011-12 is scheduled to begin Dec. 10.

Trainers tie for title; money up as Tampa Bay Downs season closes 05/08/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 8, 2011 7:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 12 FSU, freshman QB James Blackman struggle in 27-21 loss to N.C. State


    TALLAHASSEE — Whatever was left of No. 12 Florida State's College Football Playoff hopes suffered a massive, likely fatal, blow Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

    Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (8) carries during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  2. Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off


    SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.

    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. [Associated Press]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson


    UPDATE, 3:29: Here is the Rays lineup, with Duda at 1B and Morrison the DH:

  4. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  5. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national anthem …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]