This weekend will be 2016-2017’s first with thoroughbred racing on both Florida coasts.
And we invite you to turn to this Web site and to our blog for on-site coverage of Tampa Bay Downs and of the Gulfstream Park West meet.
Tampa Bay Downs will open its meet on Saturday with eleven races and first post at 12:10 p.m.
The feature tenth race is five furlongs on turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. The purse is $27,500 and there is a $100,000 optional claiming price.
Call Thirty Seven, Everything Lovely and Smoke Signals are the likely favorites.
Tampa Bay is calling the race the Lightning City Prep. Many of the horses in Saturday’s race are expected back for the track’s $100,000 Lightning City Stakes on December 17—also at five furlongs on turf.
Saturday and Sunday are the final two days of the GP West meet. Gulfstream Park is holding the meet at Calder under a lease agreement with that track.
On Saturday, GP West will have two Grade 3 stakes. Both have $100,000 purses and are 1 1/16 miles on turf.
The Tropical Turf is for males 3-years-old and up. The My Charmer is for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
On Saturday the carryover on the Rainbow 6 is $94,258. On Sunday there will be a mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 carryover plus 80 percent of the day’s Rainbow 6 bets.
Our Tampa Bay reporter Monique Welch and our business manager/photographer Barry Unterbrink will be at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday. Our editor Jim Freer will be at GP West (Calder) on Sunday.