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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

TAMPA BAY TO OPEN NOV. 27

Thoroughbred racing will return to Tampa Bay Downs on Wednesday, Nov. 27 with the Opening Day card of the 2019-2020 meeting.

Tampa Bay bettors will notice a new wager called the Ultimate Pick-6 requiring bettors to select the winners of six consecutive races on a single card.

The minimum Ultimate Pick-6 wager is 20 cents. Because of the wager’s carryover jackpot format, for anyone to collect the jackpot, they must have the only ticket correctly selecting all six winners.

If not, 75 percent of the pari-mutuel pool will be split between those bettors selecting the greatest number of first-place finishers with the remainder added to the carryover jackpot the next day.

The primary focus throughout the winter and spring will of course be the racing. Workouts for the upcoming meet have taken place for the past three weeks.

The stakes schedule begins Dec. 7 with a pair of $100,000, 6-furlong races for 2-year-olds and event days begin with the March 7 Festival Day program, featuring the Tampa Bay Derby at a mile-and-a-sixteenth.

The first four finishers in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby earn qualifying points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.”

Also part of the Festival Day program is the Grade 2 Hillsborough Stakes for older fillies and mares and the Grade 3 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

Another big day is the Festival Preview program featuring the G3 Sam F. Davis, the G3 Tampa Bay Stakes for older horses on turf and the G3 Endeavour for older fillies, also on grass.

Further, Florida Cup Day is March 29 with six stakes on both dirt and turf for registered Florida-bred connections.

Tampa Bay Downs races on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with Sundays added beginning Dec. 22. There is no racing on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

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