Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Downs

Turf Classic brings Tampa Bay Downs meet to a close

OLDSMAR — Racing secretary Allison De Luca has drawn her last racing card of the Tampa Bay Downs meet. Finally, she can take a breather.

With the track's 82nd season of live thoroughbred action ending Sunday on fan appreciation day, De Luca's job is nearly over as suspense surrounding the sport's top 3-year-olds begins.

The Downs is expected to have its largest attendance of the 94-day meet this afternoon, highlighted by the simulcast of the 134th Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs in Louisville. Last year, a record 11,014 fans turned out as Street Sense became the first Tampa Bay Derby winner to capture the Run for the Roses.

This year's Kentucky Derby (6:04 p.m.) has similar ties with three Downs' runners in the Grade I $2.2-million event: Big Truck (Tampa Bay Derby winner and Sam F. Davis runnerup), Smooth Air (Sam F. Davis third-place finisher) and Z Humor (fifth in Sam F. Davis). Former TBD riding champion Jose Lezcano also has a mount on Visionaire, and Tampa Bay banker and philanthropist Donald Adam is represented by Adriano.

The Downs has a presence in another Churchill Downs stakes that can be seen via simulcast, the Grade III $150,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (3:03 p.m.). Dreaming of Anna, winner of Grade III's Hillsborough Stakes and Endeavour Breeders' Cup, is entered along with Turf Distaff winner Bayou's Lassie and You Go West Girl, trained by Downs' conditioner Tom Proctor.

"We've had some really great horses here and were so blessed to have Dreaming of Anna twice," De Luca said. "Our track is sandy — totally different from others — and horses really leg up here, preparing them for races down the road."

The $75,000 Chris Thomas Turf Classic, featuring Live Oak Plantation's Revved Up, headlines the Downs' 12-race card. Trained by Christophe Clement, Revved Up will be making his first start at age 10 in the 11/8-mile event. His victory in the 2006 race pushed him past $1-million in career earnings. Revved Up faces 11 challengers in Race 7 (3:20 p.m.) with Daniel Centeno in the saddle.

It has been a record-setting season for trainer Jamie Ness and Centeno. Both have clinched consecutive individual titles with meet-record numbers: Ness with 66 victories and Centeno with 141. Centeno also became the first Downs' rider to surpass $2-million in purse earnings. Balkrisna Sukharan has a two-win lead over Web's Gem Stable and Jagger, Inc. for leading owner. Both are clients of Ness.

After the meet, De Luca will head to Churchill Downs, where she will serve as a placing and patrol judge. She will then go to Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Ky. This is her second year at Oldsmar. She plans to return next season.

De Luca said one of her accomplishments was increasing fields (average 9.4 horses a race).

"It's always easier with a year under your belt to figure out what kind of races go," De Luca said. "We have a great group of horsemen; they come to run and work with you. I wouldn't trade them for anyone.

"You're only as good as the people you work with, and the staff worked hard all year."

GREYHOUNDS: Derby Lane will be represented in two stakes races today at Mardi Gras Racetrack in Hallandale Beach and Palm Beach Kennel Club in West Palm Beach. Flying Chain, Flying Fabian, Kay Buffalo Bill and Lazy K Newsman compete in 660-yard semifinal races tonight in the $30,000 Hollywoodian at Mardi Gras. The final is May 10. The $85,000 Palm Beach Grand Classic begins this afternoon with Ballet Lady, Bold Visa, Diligent and Van's Escalade among the entries. The 545-yard event concludes May 26. All action can be seen at Derby Lane. … The National Greyhound Association sprint meet ended Sunday in Abilene, Kan., with auction sales topping $1.3-million.

MY BABY BABY SECOND IN EDGEWOOD STAKES

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The strongest finish on Friday's Kentucky Oaks undercard by a horse with Downs ties was second by My Baby Baby in the $150,000 Edgewood Stakes. My Baby Baby placed in two stakes this season at the Oldsmar track (third in Florida Oaks and second in Suncoast Stakes). Summer Courtship was scratched. Atticus Kristy, the Downs' record-holder at 5 furlongs on turf, was third in the Grade III $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs, and The Nth Degree was fifth. Lear's Princess, beaten by Dreaming of Anna in her past two stakes (fourth in Hillsborough and second in Endeavour Breeders' Cup), was third in the Grade II $300,000 Louisville Stakes. Bayou's Lassie, who won the $85,000 Turf Distaff on April 5, was scratched.

Times staff

Turf Classic brings Tampa Bay Downs meet to a close 05/02/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Red state: Yes, Bill O'Reilly is a Bucs fan

    Blogs

    TAMPA -- The question was simple enough for Bucs fans: Why is former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly wearing a red Bucs polo?

    O'Reilly was wearing the polo during a few video clips from his "No Spin News" podcast posted on his website Monday, which was exciting news for some Bucs fans and not-so-exciting …

    Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly was sporting a red Bucs polo during his "No Spin News" video podcast Monday. An assistant said the shirt was given to him by former Bucs tight end Dave Moore.
  2. For starters: Slumping LoMo, Dickerson not in Rays lineup tonight vs LHP

    Blogs

    1B Logan Morrison and LF Corey Dickerson, two of the main slumpers in the Rays lineup, are not in tonight's lineup with the Orioles throwing LHP Wade Miley.

    Logan Morrison is 0-for-12 on this homestand.
  3. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst

    Blogs

    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  4. Rank the top 10 Bucs players? Here's what fans said

    Blogs

    We mentioned this morning that is was a fun challenge, in response to Sports Illustrated's ranking of the NFL's top 400 players, to ask fans to rank their top 10 Bucs players.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston during last year's Bucs win against the Seahawks. Evans and Winston finished 1-2 in an informal Twitter poll of fans ranking their top Bucs players.
  5. Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.

    Storm

    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    This combination of photos provided by Boston University shows sections from a normal brain, top, and from the brain of former University of Texas football player Greg Ploetz, bottom, in stage IV of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to a report released on Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life -- evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a devastating disease in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. [Dr. Ann McKee | BU via AP]