Edited Tampa Bay Release – Tampa Bay Downs will increase purses for all races except stakes by approximately 10-percent beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 16, track Vice President-General Manager Peter Berube announced today.
The increase will be $1,500 for maiden special weight and allowance races and $1,000 for claiming and starter races.
“Thanks to the efforts of former (Tampa Bay Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association) President Bob Jeffries and the approval of their board, we were able to build a substantial cushion in the purse account before the current meeting,” Berube said.
“Our export (simulcast) business has been strong since racing returned on Nov. 25 and is up 29-percent to date,” Berube said.
“We were projecting a 30-35-percent decrease in on-track wagering on live and simulcast racing to start the meeting and those projections have been correct, but the actions of the Tampa Bay HBPA and the popularity of our signal across the country enable us to feel comfortable raising purses starting next week,” Berube said.
Through the first six cards since the 2020-2021 meeting resumed, Tampa Bay Downs has averaged $3,719,055 in daily interstate wagering. The total wagering handle on Saturday’s 10-race card was a Cotillion Festival Day record $6,128,282, of which $5,702,369 was through interstate wagering.
Around The Oval
Tampa Bay Downs currently races on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday schedule, with Sundays added to the mix on Dec. 20. Additionally, the track will conduct a Thursday card on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and be closed Christmas, Dec. 25.