For the second meeting in a row, Tampa Bay Downs will run 25 stakes worth $2,595,000. The lucrative added-money slate is highlighted by the 33rd edition of the Grade II, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby, a mile-and-a-sixteenth showcase for 3-year-old Triple Crown candidates, on March 9.
“The growth of our stakes program over the years is a source of pride for everyone involved,” Berube said. “Keeping our stakes schedule and purses intact during a challenging economic period is a major accomplishment, and we think our fans will appreciate everyone’s efforts because they get to watch and wager on top-quality Thoroughbred racing.”
Stall applications for the 2012-13 season are due Monday, Oct. 1. The barn area opens Nov. 7.
The Tampa Bay Derby – which has produced two of the past six winners of the Kentucky Derby, Street Sense (2007) and Super Saver (2010) – is the centerpiece of the track’s annual Festival Day extravaganza, which includes the Grade III, $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes at a mile-and-an-eighth on the turf for older fillies and mares; and the $100,000 Suncoast Stakes at a mile-and-40-yards for 3-year-old fillies.
The first three finishers in the 2012 Tampa Bay Derby have all enjoyed additional stakes success this year. While the winner, Prospective, added the Victoria Park Stakes at Woodbine and Grade III Ohio Derby to his ledger, runner-up Golden Ticket finished in a dead-heat in the Grade I Travers at Saratoga with Alpha.