Thursday, May 24, 2018
Sports

Tampa Bay Downs, Derby Lane set to end and begin again

The week began with greyhound fans mesmerized by a pair of funnel cloud tails that spiraled beyond the Derby Lane tote board. It will end with a tale of two meets.

Derby Lane and Tampa Bay Downs conclude their 2012-13 seasons on a historic weekend for the thoroughbred track in Oldsmar.

Today, Derby Lane ends live greyhound racing for the 88th year with a matinee-evening doubleheader. The night card on Fan Appreciation Day features the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby and the $10,000 Consolation Derby.

The Downs will have its inaugural Summer Festival of Racing Sunday and Monday. Both programs will consist of eight races with a 12:35 p.m. post time. Sunday concludes Season No. 87, and Monday kicks off the 2013-14 meet. The unprecedented scheduling allows the Downs to be considered a year-round racing oval, allowing it to control its simulcast menu and enhance purses.

The Downs' last live racing day was May 5 and after Monday, it is not scheduled to run live again until Dec. 7.

The only way to watch and wager on the Downs races is at the Oldsmar oval. The product will not be broadcast elsewhere, including Derby Lane and Tampa Greyhound Track. Simulcast wagering on other tracks will be available. A total of 102 entries were drawn for the 16 races, and festivities include a $5,000 Jockeys' Challenge. "We're looking forward to a fun few days," Downs spokeswoman Margo Flynn said.

At Derby Lane, finalists in the 87th annual St. Petersburg Derby (Race 10, 10:11 p.m.) from the rail: Mw's Alfa, Flying Ignatius, Deco Ella Lee, T's Hanky Panky, Idyllic Ida, Tmc's Roxslide, Budz Crosby and Kiowa Kay Dan. The seven-dog field in the Consolation Derby (Race 8, 9:33) in post order: Art Allen, Yarborough Bonz, Lk's Tomb Raider, So Divine, Lk's Instigator, Kiowa Jordan Doc and Jack's Cruze.

Derby Lane will start its 2013-14 season Monday night with several changes. Every performance in July is being reduced to 14 races, and the Pick-6 and Place Pick-8 wagers will be discontinued. The kennel roster will be at 16 with James Campbell returning, and the addition of Donald Burk, who is moving his second-ranked Sanford Orlando operation. Derby Lane will celebrate Independence Day on Thursday with a matinee performance and no evening card.

It has been a memorable week at Derby Lane, where funnel clouds passed on two sides of the track Monday. When cloud tails dropped from the sky after Race 5, many fans captured the phenomenon on cell phones until security cleared the tarmac. No damage was reported at the track, but more than 40 of the 455 patrons retreated to the basement until weather improved.

Track spokeswoman Vera Rasnake was not one of them. "I should have gone, too," she said. "But I couldn't take my eyes off (the tails). And wouldn't you know it was the one time I left my cell phone at home."

Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Scoring drought brings Lightning season to a close

The Lightning will miss out on the Stanley Cup final after being shut out by the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. The Bolts were the highest-scoring team during the regular season but failed to score in almost all of the final eigh...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays morning after: Chris Archer, David Price sure matched up like they meant it

Rays morning after: Chris Archer, David Price sure matched up like they meant it

For two guys who said they didn't make much of matching up, they sure dueled like they did in Boston's 4-1 victory that was decided after they left.Chris Archer, the Rays current top starter, worked six impressive innings, allowing one run and four h...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

ST. PETERSBURG — The increased competition in the IndyCar Series was on display during qualifying for Sunday's Indianapolis 500.Two fan favorites (Pippa Mann and 2013 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner James Hinchcliffe) couldn't crack th...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Fans react while watching outside Amalie Arena the Tampa Bay Lightning Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. The Bolts lost 4-0. ALESSANDRA DA PRA | TimesTampa Bay Lightn...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 10 hours ago
‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

TAMPA — Nick Genovese was anxious.The 21-year-old from Land O’Lakes had come to Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena hoping to see the Tampa Bay Lightning triumph over the Washington Capitals in Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference winner-take-all Game...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Updated: 10 hours ago