Friday, April 24, 2020
Great news for horsemen that Tampa Bay Downs will not close after May 3, it's original end date, and will race through Saturday, May 30. The last four weeks of the meeting will feature racing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Some of the barns no doubt could have shipped to Gulfstream, but for others, it would have caused great hardship. Trainers will always have to continue caring for their horses and paying their help, and this gives them another month after which, hopefully, we can get back to a normal schedule.
Unfortunately, many bettors don't understand the mechanics of purse structure and there have been many comments in various on-line sites, like the Paulick Report, condemning Stella Thayer for the reduced Tampa purses since spectator-less racing began. Those people need to comprehend that the track's take from on-track handle is much more than from on-line and phone wagering accounts.
I haven't followed the percentages in a long while, but I seem to remember that a while back tracks received 7 or 8 percent from on-track wagering and 2 or 3 percent from account wagering. Don't hold me to those numbers now, they may have changed somewhat, just know that there is a huge difference between the two, so no track can afford to keep purses at the former levels, especially with slots parlors and poker rooms closed, too.
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