Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Oldsmar track opens next Wednesday . . .

    OLDSMAR - Thoroughbred racing returns to Tampa Bay Downs on Wednesday, Nov. 27 with the opening-day card of the 2019-2020 meeting. Admission is free.

    The track is celebrating its 94th anniversary season with a boatload of activities and promotions planned throughout the 90-day meeting to enhance the equine energy. Oldsmar oval visitors will notice a new face picking the races and providing handicapping information: TVG analyst Matt Carothers, a lifelong fan and racing follower.

    Carothers, TVG’s first on-the-air handicapper in 1999, will present his selections over the Tampa Bay Downs closed-circuit telecast each racing day. Before joining TVG, he worked for three years as the on-track handicapper and TV host at Canterbury Park in Minnesota; at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands in New Jersey; and for New York City OTB, partnering with track announcer Dave Johnson.

    Carothers says he looks for natural speed and value for his buck when handicapping and wagering, and he is eager to offer his angles on profiting from the consistently large Tampa Bay Downs fields.
Bettors should expect Carothers to pay close attention to the track’s exciting new wager: the Ultimate Pick-6, requiring bettors to select the winners of six consecutive races on a single card.

    The minimum Ultimate Pick-6 wager is 20 cents. Because of the wager’s carryover jackpot format, the Ultimate Pick-6 could be a life-changer for one or more bettors. For anyone to collect the jackpot on a given day, they must have the only ticket correctly selecting all six winners. Otherwise, 75 percent of the pari-mutuel pool will be split among those bettors selecting the greatest number of first-place finishers, with the remainder added to the carryover jackpot the next day.

    The Saturday, Nov. 30 program offers fans chances galore to win cash and prizes. In addition to the racing action, the meeting’s first Saturday is “Tampa Bay Sport Day,” with in-the-know fans having an opportunity to win tickets to various professional and college events by correctly answering trivia questions and spinning a prize wheel.

    Tickets will be awarded for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Lightning, the Rays, the Outback Bowl, the Gasparilla Bowl, USF men’s and women’s basketball and the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship.

    Nov. 30 also marks the start of the “10 Days of Festivus On-Line Handicapping Contest,” which runs through Dec. 21. There is no charge to enter and the winner receives a $1,000 cash prize, with a second prize of $500. The Festivus contest allows fans and bettors to test their skills against the best Oldsmar oval handicappers from across the nation. Go to www.festivuschallenge.com for rules and to enter.

    The primary focus throughout the winter and spring, as always, will be on the racetrack, where excitement has been building to a fever pitch the last three weeks during morning workouts. A stakes schedule that gets underway on Dec. 7 with a pair of $100,000, 6-furlong races for 2-year-olds will be highlighted by the March 7 Festival Day program, featuring the 40th edition of the Gr. II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby for 3-year-old Kentucky Derby prospects at a distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth. The first four finishers in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby earn qualifying points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.”

    Also part of the Festival Day program are a pair of big-money graded races on the turf course: the Gr. II, $225,000 Hillsborough Stakes for older fillies and mares and the Gr. III, $200,000 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

    The track’s three other graded stakes will be contested on Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South, Feb. 8: the Gr. III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes for 3-year-olds, the Gr. III, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes for older horses on the turf and the Gr. III, $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes for older fillies and mares on the turf.

    The Sam F. Davis awards points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” to the first four finishers, while that day’s $150,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies awards points on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” to the first four finishers.

    Florida Cup Day is March 29, with six stakes on both dirt and turf offering $110,000 apiece to the owners of registered Florida-bred horses.

    Almost all of the track’s top trainers and jockeys have returned. Heading a powerful training contingent are Gerald Bennett, who has won the last four conditioner titles and five overall; last year’s runner-up, two-time track champion Kathleen O’Connell; third-place finisher Michael Stidham, who is two shy of 2,000 career victories; and 2019 Breeders’ Cup-winning trainers Ignacio Correas IV and H. Graham Motion.

    Leading jockeys set to compete include defending champion Samy Camacho; four-time kingpin Antonio Gallardo; six-time champion Daniel Centeno; and Pablo Morales.

    Tampa Bay Downs races on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with Sundays added to the mix on Dec. 22. There is no racing on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, and Easter, April 12. A special Thursday card will be offered on Dec. 26.

    The track is open every day except Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), Christmas and Easter for simulcast wagering, no-limits poker action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facilit
y.

Monday, November 18, 2019
Hasn't been hit at Gulfstream West meeting . . .

    MIAMI GARDENS - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 35th consecutive day Sunday at Gulfstream Park West, and the carryover jackpot jumped to $909,175 for the return of live racing on Wednesday.

    First-race post time is 1:20 p.m.

    A total of $196,968 was wagered into the Rainbow 6 Sunday, on top of a carryover of $861,911 from Saturday’s program. Multiple tickets with all six winners each returned $1,003.66.

    No single bettor has solved the multi-race wager during the Fall Turf Festival meet, which began Oct. 2 and runs through Sunday. The Rainbow 6 was last taken down for a $2.2 jackpot payoff Sept. 27 at Gulfstream Park.

    Wednesday’s Rainbow 6 spans Races 3-8. The sequence includes the return in Race 7 of Bodexpress, fresh off his maiden triumph last month,in a $45,000 allowance for 3-year-olds and up going one mile on the main track.

NOTES: Jockey Jairo Rendon rode three winners Sunday, including back-to-back scores on Lavi ($94.60) in Race 2 and Shyza ($8.60) in Race 3. Rendon completed his triple aboard Victor Lounge ($5.80) in Race 7.

Sunday, November 17, 2019
10-race card will feature two $125,000 sprints . . .
    Entries for the OBS Day of Racing will be taken Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the OBS office by racing secretary Jay Friedman and the racing office staff. They may be reached at (352) 237-2154. The 10-race card will be run Tuesday, Nov. 26 with first post time at noon.

     There are two non-wagering races for OBS graduates, restricted to 3-year-olds and upward which have gone through the ring at an OBS sale: the $125,000 OBS Sprint Stakes and $125,000 OBS Filly & Mare Sprint. Both races will be run at six furlongs. Free nominations closed Nov. 12 but supplemental entries may be made at entry time. The condition book and lists of nominees and their past performances may be found on the OBS website at: https://www.obssales.com/2019/09/obs-day-of-racing-november-26-2019.

    Eight pari-mutuel races will be drawn from the condition book which includes races for quarter horse maidens, allowance (NW2 or NW in 2019), and open allowance races at distances of 220, 330 and 440 yards, with purses up to $7,000. The condition book also includes races for 2-year-old thoroughbred maidens and maiden and starter allowance races for thoroughbreds 3-years-old and up. All races for thoroughbreds will be run at six furlongs. 
Thursday, November 14, 2019
$300,000 race set for Dec. 8 . . .

    MIAMI GARDENS - No single bettor solved the 20-cent Rainbow 6 for the 31st consecutive racing day Wednesday at Gulfstream Park West, with the carryover jackpot rising to $768,774 for today’s eight-race card. First race post time is 1:20 p.m.

Multiple tickets with all six winners Wednesday were each worth $4,250

  Today’s Rainbow 6 covers Races 3-8 highlighted by a $39,000 optional claimer going a mile on the turf in Race 6 which attracted a field of nine Florida-breds led by 9-5 program favorite Mozzo Bello.

Horses Arriving Wednesday from Mexico for Clasico del Caribe

     Three contenders for the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe were among 14 horses arriving from Mexico Wednesday to compete in the Clasico Internacional del Caribe Sunday, Dec. 8 at Gulfstream Park.

     El Santo, Lopecitos and Thibaut are all expected to run in the 1 1/8-mile Clasico del Caribe for 3-year-olds, the richest of five stakes worth $690,000 in purses on the Clasico Internacional del Caribe program.

    This will be the third consecutive year that Gulfstream has served as host for the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, remaining the only pari-mutuel facility outside Latin America and the Caribbean to host the event since its inception in 1966.

Notes: Jockeys Paco Lopez and Jairo Rendon alternated winning Wednesday’s first four races. Lopez took Race 1 with Frank’s Legacy ($2.80) and Race 3 on Babie Monster ($16.60) while Rendon was first on Itsmyluckyknight ($6) in Race 2 and Captain Ron ($6) in Race 4.

Monday, November 11, 2019
Jackpot passes $727,000 . . .
    MIAMI GARDENS - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 30th consecutive racing day of Gulfstream Park West’s Fall Turf Festival Sunday, producing a carryover jackpot of $727,235 for Wednesday’s program

    Multiple Rainbow 6 tickets with all six winners Sunday were each worth $167.52