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)

Tampa Bay Downs latest meet to end amid flurry of activity

OLDSMAR — It is time to do the wave at Tampa Bay Downs — a wave goodbye to the track's 84th year of thoroughbred racing.

The Downs' 2009-10 season ends this weekend, and the final two days should be special. An 11-race card, on-track benefit walk and simulcast of the 136th Kentucky Derby highlight today's schedule. The 91-day meet concludes Sunday with Fan Appreciation Day, featuring a showdown between Kathleen O'Connell and three-time defending champion Jamie Ness for the trainer title. O'Connell has a 50-49 lead. She has 12 entries in nine races the next two days, while Ness has three horses entered.

"It's a little sad (to leave Oldsmar)," O'Connell said. "Everybody loves this place, and it is great for horses. We're usually the last people out of Tampa Bay, and they put the lock on the gate behind us." O'Connell will move her stable this summer to Calder in Miami Gardens and Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va. Daniel Centeno has clinched the jockey crown for the fourth consecutive year and joins Ness next week at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa.

The Thoroughbred Retirement of Tampa benefit walk kicks off the Downs' activity this morning at 11. For details, call (813) 298-6165. The Kentucky Derby (Race 11, 6:24 p.m.) caps the day. Tampa Bay Derby third-place finisher Super Saver is the Downs' lone representative, the 19th Oldsmar graduate since 2004 to race in the 1 1/4-mile classic. Two former Oldsmar riding champions have mounts: Jose Lezcano (2005-06) on Ice Box, and Willie Martinez (1991-92) aboard Noble's Promise.

This is the first time in seven years that neither winner of the Tampa Bay Derby or Sam F. Davis is in the Kentucky Derby. Tampa Bay Derby winner Odysseus has a leg injury and lacked sufficient graded earnings. Sam F. Davis winner Rule was pulled from consideration Monday after two substandard workouts. The only Oldsmar colt to capture the Run for the Roses has been 2007 Tampa Bay Derby winner Street Sense.

The Grade I $2 million Kentucky Derby is one of six graded stakes on the Churchill Downs card in Louisville, Ky. Oldsmar connections in the other stakes: 2009 Sam F. Davis winner General Quarters (Grade I $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic), 2009 Tampa Bay Derby winner Musket Man and Warrior's Reward (Grade II $250,000 Churchill Downs), 2008 Sandpiper winner Dr. Zic (Grade I $300,000 Humana Distaff), 2010 Hillsborough winner Phola, Cure for Sale and Hooh Why (Grade II $200,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile), and Buckleupbuttercup (Grade III $100,000 Eight Belles). General Quarters and Musket Man can reach $1 million in career earnings today. The races also will be simulcast at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg and Tampa Greyhound Track.

GREYHOUNDS: The $20,000 Gold Trophy Juvenile Stakes begins tonight at Derby Lane with qualifying in Races 4, 6, 8 and 10.

Tampa Bay Downs latest meet to end amid flurry of activity 04/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 30, 2010 9:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays series preview: Who are the Mariners?


    The Rays are back home again, duking it out with another club in the American League Wild Card chase — the Mariners, who have a slight advantage over Tampa Bay. Here's the information you need to know about Seattle before the action kicks off.

    Record: 61-61, third in AL West

    Starter Erasmo Ramirez will face the Rays after they traded him to the Mariners in July.
  2. Florida Gators' Malik Zaire: 'This is everything to me'


    GAINESVILLE — We're two weeks and one day away from the Florida Gators' Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan, and the quarterback position remains unresolved.

    "This is everything to me..." said Malik Zaire, the grad transfer from Notre Dame. "I have everything to prove, everything to lose."
  3. 1997 USF Bulls: Jay Mize, a 'relentless, fearless' safety and entrepreneur


    USF football alumnus Jay Mize, 39, poses for a portrait at Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery located at 1611 W Swann Avenue in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Mize, a member of the first USF football team, has evolved into an immensely successful businessman and entrepreneur and he owns the Irish 31 pubs.
  4. Revisiting the inaugural 1997 USF Bulls football roster


    The 1997 USF football team. (University of South Florida, USF Bulls)
  5. 1997 USF Bulls: Charlie Jackson navigates life's speed bumps


    USF wide receiver Charlie Jackson (1) strives for extra yardage as he is brought down from behind by the Citadel's Rob Nichols (29) in the first quarter on Sept. 14, 1997. (Times 1997)