Thursday, February 18, 2021
OLDSMAR – Despite rainy weather, Tampa Bay Downs horsemen and horsewomen are basking in sunshine upon the announcement of a third purse increase this season, which will go into effect with Saturday’s card.
Ongoing gains in simulcast revenue have led to another 10-percent boost, with an additional $2,500 for all allowance races, including maiden special weights, and $1,250 for all claiming and starter races. The increase amounts to approximately $15,000 more per day in total purse money.
Tampa Bay Downs previously increased purses by 10 percent on Dec. 16 and again on Feb. 3.
In on-track news, officials further postponed the track’s annual Turf Sprint Showcase Day – featuring the $100,000 Turf Dash Stakes and the $100,000 Lightning City Stakes – from Sunday to next Wednesday, Feb. 24. Both races had been pushed back from Saturday to Sunday earlier because of the soaked condition of the turf course, which last saw action Friday.
With more rain forecast later this week, the decision was made to give the turf course plenty of time to dry out and create conditions as equitable as possible for all runners.
The Turf Dash is for horses 4-years-old-and-upward and the Lightning City is for fillies and mares 4-and-upward. Both races are at a distance of 5 furlongs on the turf course.
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