Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Tampa Bay Postpones Turf Stakes to Sunday; Tickets Available Online for March 6

HRFLA Staff Report

After being dark on Monday and Tuesday, Tampa Bay Downs will have nine races on Wednesday with first post at 12:15 p.m.

The first race has  Super Hi-5 carryover of $1,712.  

The Pick 6 has  a carryover of $37,420.  The 20 cents per combination-only bet will be on  races four to nine, with the sequence scheduled to start at 1:41 p.m.

Turf Stakes Rescheduled

Due to recent heavy rains, Tampa Bay Downs has rescheduled two turf sprint stakes from Saturday Feb. 20 to Sunday Feb. 21.

Those races are the $100,000 Turf Dash, at five furlongs on turf for 4-year-olds and up, and the $100,000 Lightning City, at five furlongs on turf for fillies and mares 4-YO and up.

Peter Berube, Tampa Bay Downs vice president-general manager, announced the postponements on Sunday.

“The turf course has taken in excess of 2 inches of rain the last two days, with more rain forecast during the week,” he  said. “By switching the races to Sunday now, horsemen planning to enter either race will have sufficient time to adjust their training schedules. Our hope is that the turf course will be in its usual excellent condition by next Sunday.”

Entries for both races will be taken Thursday.

No matter the conditions, or the fields, both races will be hard-pressed to surpass last year’s renewals, when (then)-7-year-old Florida-bred gelding Faction Cat set a course record of 53.97 seconds in winning the Turf Dash and (then)-5-year-old Jean Elizabeth set a stakes record of 55.09 in the Lightning City.

Festival Day Tickets

Tickets for Festival Day 41 Presented by Lambholm South on March 6 are being sold on the Tampa Bay Downs website,

Click on Buy Tickets Here on the right side of the home page.

General Admission attendance will be capped at 2,500. Tickets are $15 plus a $2.55 service fee. 

Picnic Area tables sold out quickly, but a total of 100 individual Picnic Area spaces are being sold for $15 each, plus the service fee. Anyone purchasing a Picnic Area space must provide their own seating.

The General Admission and Picnic Area ticket price includes a commemorative cap.

Five stakes races will be contested on March 6, headed by the 41st running of the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (Grade 2) for 3-year-olds at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the main track.

The Tampa Bay Derby is a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points race, awarding qualifying points for the  1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby (Grade 1) that will be run May 1 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Points will be awarded to the first four finishers on a 50-20-10-5 basis. 

Two horses that ran in the Tampa Bay have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby: 2007 Tampa Bay Derby winner Street Sense and 2010 Tampa Bay Derby third-place finisher Super Saver.

The March 6 card will have two distaff graded stakes races on turf. 

The $225,000 Hillsborough (Grade 2) is for fillies and mares 4-YO and up at  1 1/8 miles on turf. The list of recent years' winners includes Starship Jubilee (2020), Fourstar Crook (2018), Dickinson (2017), Tepin (2016), Stephanie’s Kitten (2015) and Zagora (2012).

The $200,000 Florida Oaks (Grade  3) for 3-year-old fillies is 1 1/16 miles.

Rounding out the March 6 stakes menu are:|

* $100,000 Challenger (Grade 3)Stakes for 4-YO and up, at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

*75,000 Columbia for 3-YOs at a mile on the turf.



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HorseRacing FLA staff