Trainers Kathleen O’Connell and Jamie Ness shared the Trainer’s title for the 2009-2010 Tampa Bay Downs season with 51 wins apiece. This is only the third time in recent recorded history that two triners have shared the season’s title at Tampa Bay Downs.
Ness earned his first training title in the 2006-07 campaign and has achieved this accolade each year since. This year, the South Dakota native saddled 51 winners from 143 starters this year with purse earnings approaching $700,000.
Jockey Daniel Centeno, who has captured the Tampa Bay Downs jockey title for four years in a row, was named as top rider for the current season. The reinsman haltered 133 victories this year, Centeno recorded 132 wins. Centeno will take his tack to Monmouth Park over the summer, and plans to return to ride at Tampa when racing resumes here again in December. Centeno ended the 2009-2010 season by booting home three winners on the Closing Day card; he took his first trip to the Winner’s Circle aboard Smak Dab, a four-year-old Double Honor colt owned by Ojia Stewart and trained by Kenny Flowers. Centeno struck again with Hi Time Scott, this time for Whitney Racing Stable and conditioner William Downing. Centeno got his final win of the season with Arsenal, this time for owner Lambholm Stable and trainer Roy S. Lerman.
This was Centeno’s sixth meet at Tampa. He debuted here in the 2004-2005 season with a tenth-place finish in the rider standings with 32 wins from only 276 mounts; four years ago Centeno finished second in the rider standings with 72 wins from 475 rides; three years ago, the reinsman has 125 wins from 538 starts and $1,667,752 in purses. In the 2007-2008 year Centeno set the record for wins and purse earnings in a single season when he took 144 trips to the Winner’s Circle and his mounts earned $2,145,528. Last year, the reinsman haltered 138 victories and earned nearly $2 million in purses. Daniel Centeno will spend the summer in the Monmouth Park riding colony.
Leading apprentice rider Kristina McManigell broke her maiden on January 7, 2010 aboard Real Stormy. McManigell, who captured 13 wins at Tampa Bay Downs, will spend her summer months at Suffolk Downs in Boston.
Midwest Thoroughbreds accepted the trophy for leading owner at Tampa Bay Downs for this season; Midwest Thoroughbreds secured 43 victories, setting a new record for number of wins for an owner in a single season.
Party of Eight took home top honors for a horse this year with five wins to her credit from six starts. The nine-year-old Evansville Slew mare is under the care of trainer David Hinsley for owner Arbywood Stable and was bred in Kentucky by Mike and Judy Crowe.
Racing resumes in December of 2010. The Silks Poker Room is open daily from 12:30 PM through 12:30 AM, and the Downs Golf Practice Facility is open on Mondays from 10:00 AM through 10:00 PM and on Tuesdays through Sundays from 8:30 AM through 10:00 PM.