Tampa's Summer Festival Begins Today
Thursday, June 30, 2022
OLDSMAR - Thoroughbred action returns to Tampa Bay Downs on today and Friday as the track plays host to its 10th annual, two-day Summer Festival of Racing.
A pair of eight-race programs are scheduled, including six each day on the turf course, weather permitting. Post time for the first today is 11:58 a.m., followed by an 11:55 a.m. start Friday.
Admission is free. Riders will compete over the two days in the $5,000 Jockeys’ Challenge, a total-points event with 8 points awarded for a victory, 7 for a second, 6 for third, etc. The winning jockey collects $2,500, with $1,500 to the runner-up and $1,000 to third.
Three-time Tampa Bay Downs champion jockey Samy Camacho, who earned career victory No. 1,000 last month at Monmouth Park, will ride today’s Summer Festival card before returning to the New Jersey track for Friday’s action. Ademar Santos is named to ride 12 horses over the two days. Camacho (2016, 2017 and 2021) and Santos (2014, 2015 and 2019) are both three-time Jockeys’ Challenge champions.
The Summer Festival of Racing originated in 2013 as a means to give Tampa Bay Downs greater control over summer simulcast revenue. For record-keeping purposes, today’s card counts as the final day of the 2021-2022 meet, with Friday’s races comprising the first day of 2022-2023. Tampa Bay Downs plans to then resume its 97th anniversary season on Wednesday, Nov. 23
The Metro Deli, located on the first floor of the Grandstand, will be open both days for pizza and sandwiches, while the concession stand at the north end of the Grandstand offers chicken tenders, French fries and other luncheon items. The Riders Up! bar on the first floor of the Grandstand is the place to enjoy a cool libation and a “front-row” view of the finish line.
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