Tampa Bay Downs will have eight races on Thursday, the first day of its annual two-day Summer Festival of Racing.
First post is 12:35 p.m., with six races scheduled for turf. All of the races are claiming, and have purses ranging from $11,500 to $13,500.
On Monday afternoon, Tampa Bay Downs will announce entries for this Friday’s race card.
On Thursday, there are at least eight entrants per race
Many of the entered horses have not raced since the regular part of Tampa Bay’s meet, which ended May 8. The Thursday fields also have numerous horses that have raced this month at Gulfstream Park.
Most of the trainers and jockeys are Tampa Bay winter-time regulars who are coming back for two days from Gulfstream or from tracks in northern states
Every Florida fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30.
By racing each of those days and holding its regular race meet in between, Tampa Bay Downs is eligible to be a year-round host track for simulcasting of thoroughbred races from outside Florida,
As host tracks, Tampa Bay and Gulfstream buy signals from tracks such as Belmont Park and Churchill Downs and then re-sell them to other pari-mutuels in Florida.
After July 1, Tampa Bay Downs will be dark until Nov. 27 when it will begin its regular five months of racing.