Friday, December 20, 2019
OLDSMAR - For the first time in track history, Tampa Bay Downs will stage four graded stakes races on a single afternoon when many of the leading thoroughbreds in training compete on the March 7 Festival Day card.
The $100,000, mile-and-a-sixteenth Challenger Stakes for horses 4-years-old-and-upward was upgraded from Listed status to a Gr. III event during this week’s Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association American Graded Stakes Committee meeting in Lexington
. The Challenger joins the Gr. II Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, the Gr. II Hillsborough Stakes on the turf and the Gr. III Florida Oaks on the turf as Festival Day 40 graded races.
Tampa Bay Downs will now feature seven graded stakes in all for the 2019-2020 meeting, including the Gr. III Sam F. Davis Stakes, the Gr. III Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes on the turf and the Gr. III Tampa Bay Stakes on the turf on Festival Preview Day, Feb. 8
Also upgraded by the TOBA American Graded Stakes Committee, from non-Listed black type to Listed status, are the $100,000, 6-furlong Pelican Stakes for horses 4-years-old-and-upward on Feb. 15 and the $75,000, 1-mile Columbia Stakes on the turf for 3-year-olds on March 7.
The five March 7 Festival Day card stakes races are worth a combined $1 million in purse mone
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