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)

Summer Festival to boost Tampa Bay Downs

OLDSMAR — Tampa Bay Downs is moving forward by taking a page from the past.

When its inaugural Summer Festival of Racing is held June 30-July 1, there will be only one way to watch and wager on the two live eight-race cards: in person at the thoroughbred track.

The races will not be simulcast elsewhere, including Derby Lane in St. Petersburg and Tampa Greyhound Track. Wagering pools will include on-track handle only, with no simulcast monies or account wagering. Simulcast wagering on other tracks will be available.

"Live racing back to yesteryear," Downs spokeswoman Margo Flynn said.

The schedule, approved by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, serves several purposes for the Downs, which last raced live May 5. The June 30 card will end the track's 87th season. The July 1 program will be the first day of the 2013-14 season, with live action resuming Dec. 7.

The move allows the Downs to be classified as a year-round live horse-racing facility, making it a host track. As a host, the Downs can purchase simulcast signals from other host sites and, most important, retain all revenue from that form of wagering. Previously, the Downs had to give Calder Race Course in Miami Gardens and its track horsemen an undisclosed portion of its simulcast revenue because Calder served as the host track and the Downs was a guest site when it didn't run live. Calder also controlled the simulcast schedule.

The additional revenue will boost purses at the Downs. Derby Lane and Tampa Greyhound Track (which runs its meet at Derby Lane) also will gain more purse money through a local market agreement.

"The end result of higher purses will bring in higher quality horses for the future seasons," Flynn said.

The Downs website says the track is classified as a year-round live thoroughbred racing facility under state regulations. But the state declined to discuss the Downs as a host track. "We are unable to comment because of pending litigation," Department of Business and Professional Regulation spokeswoman Samantha Stratton wrote in an email. The state did not comment about what the litigation was.

Gulfstream Park is following the Downs lead. The Hallandale Beach track will end its year June 25 and begin its 2013-14 season July 1.

The Summer Festival of Racing will feature a $5,000 Jockeys' Challenge. Using a cumulative point system based on order of finish, the first-place rider will earn $2,500, the runnerup $1,500 and the third-place jockey $1,000.

Races will be limited to eight horses, with the last four finishers ensured $500 each. Post time each day will be 12:35 p.m.

Summer Festival to boost Tampa Bay Downs 06/14/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 14, 2013 9:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  2. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

  3. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000


    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  4. Rays vs. Mariners, 1:10 Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Mariners

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Blake Snell
  5. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big


    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805