It's status quo for Tampa Bay area parimutuel sites in 2010-11. Derby Lane and Tampa Greyhound Track will team up for another season of greyhound racing, while Tampa Bay Downs' 85th thoroughbred meet will resemble the ongoing one.
Alex Antonacci Lambert, spokeswoman with the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation-Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, said Derby Lane and Tampa Greyhound have been granted six-month racing permits for 2010-11. All racing will be at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. The Tampa meet will consist of 209 performances from July 1 to Dec. 31. Derby Lane will have 206 performances from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2011. The current weekly schedule — eight performances with Wednesday and Saturday doubleheaders — will remain in effect. There will be no Sunday racing.
Derby Lane has assisted Tampa with race dates since 2007, when Tampa stopped running dogs. Tampa utilizes a state law that allows a lessee to operate its meet at a leased premise with a similar parimutuel permit. Without the arrangement, Tampa could not offer simulcast wagering and poker. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This is our third year of partnering with them, and it's working out well," Derby Lane spokeswoman Vera Filipelli said. "At the present time we're going to continue it."
The Downs has been awarded a license for a 93-day meet from Dec. 11 to May 8, 2011, in Oldsmar. Racing will be Wednesday through Sunday. The Downs is running 91 days this season. Simulcast wagering and poker will be available at the three sites daily, excluding some holidays.
NOTES: Sam F. Davis winner Rule is the 5-2 morning-line choice today in the Grade I $750,000 Florida Derby (Race 11, 6:20 p.m.), one of five stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. … Oldsmar rider James Lopez collected his 1,000th career win with Dance Hall Darlin on March 11 at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. … The American Greyhound Track Operators Association announces its 2009 All-America team Monday in Las Vegas.
FESTiVAL DAY FACTS: Despite 18 scratches, many the result of a turf course soaked by previous day's rain, the Downs set a record for a 12-race card March 13 with all-source handle of $10,807,264. … Grade III Florida Oaks winner Diva Delite gave jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. her fourth stakes victory of the meet, tying Daniel Centeno. … Trainer Jamie Ness won his fourth consecutive Turf Dash, all with horses he claimed. Sneaking Uponyou, ridden by Huber Villa-Gomez, was purchased in 2009 as a maiden for $25,000. The sprinter also won the Pelican Stakes on Jan. 9 and is owned by Jagger Inc., Ness' operation named after his Boston Terrier.