Florida horse racing having strong resurgence
October 17, 2017 3:00 AM
by Robert Mann
Florida’s horseracing resurgence is continuing as Tampa Bay Downs has announced it will conduct the most lucrative stakes program in its 92-year history during the 2017-2018 thoroughbred racing season.
The popular Sunshine State venue with its ever-improving simulcast product will now offer a record 28 stakes races worth a combined $3.65-million.
Additional purse and bonus monies for seven stakes – including the Grade II, (now)-$400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby for 3-year-olds on March 10 – are being made available through Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association’s (FTBOA) stakes funding and sponsorships by the FTBOA’s Florida Sire Stakes program.
The financially bolstered stakes lineup now features a $50,000 increase in the total purse for the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby. The March 10 Festival Day card will consist of five stakes races worth an aggregate of $1 million, a Tampa Bay Downs single-day first.
The Tampa Bay Downs product has come into recent favor nationally because of full fields, a safe racing strip and extremely competitive racing. The Tampa Bay Derby is now generally considered to be a major Kentucky Derby prep race.