Saturday, December 21, 2019
OLDSMAR - Sunday’s nine-race card has been cancelled due to concerns of inclement weather throughout the entire Tampa Bay area and along Florida’s west coast. The card will be made up on Thursday, Jan. 23, pending state approval.
“The safety of our jockeys and horses, as well as fans traveling to and from the racetrack, is of paramount concern,” said Peter Berube, the track’s Vice President-General Manager. “The forecast is for at least a couple of inches of rain and high winds overnight and into Sunday, and we have decided to err on the side of caution and make the card up at a later date.”
The track will remain open Sunday for simulcast wagering and action in The Silks Poker Room. The next day of Thoroughbred racing is Thursday, with post time for the first of nine races at 12:46 p.m.
Today’s second race, the Lambholm South Race of the Week on the turf, marked the stateside debut of 20-year-old English apprentice jockey Cieren Fallon, the 2019 champion apprentice in Great Britain and son of retired six-time British champion rider Kieren Fallon. The youngster finished third aboard the Christophe Clement-trained 3-year-old colt Uhtred, 2 ¼ lengths behind winner Dream Liner. The younger Fallon’s mother, Julie Bowker, is also a former rider.
After breaking alertly and angling to the inside from the No. 7 post position, Fallon found himself in tight quarters aboard Uhtred entering the first turn. He was able to secure good position up the backstretch in the mile-and-a-sixteenth allowance event and loomed a threat on the far turn, but had to settle for third after getting in tight in mid-stretch
For Fallon, who has been working for Clement at Payson Park Training Center in Indiantown since early November, the plan is to return to England in February and come back to the United States next fall.
Thursday’s card coincides with the start of the track’s “Calendar Giveaway” promotion. The 2020 edition of the calendar will be distributed throughout the weekend to the first 10,000 patrons, with paid admission. It includes photographs by some of the area’s top equine photojournalists, as well as key racing dates throughout the season.
Beginning next week, Tampa Bay Downs will race on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule throughout the meeting with the exception of Christmas, Dec. 25, and Easter, April 12, when the track is closed, and the Dec. 26 and (tentative) Jan. 23 racing cards.
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