Tampa Bay Downs plans to spread holiday cheer throughout next week, with four days of Thoroughbred racing culminating with the first Sunday card of the meet on Dec. 24.
After a rare rain-soaked afternoon at the Oldsmar oval, action resumes Wednesday with nine races beginning at 12:50 p.m. A pair of $53,000 allowance/optional claiming sprints, carded as the sixth and seventh races, highlight the program.
On Dec. 27, Tampa Bay Downs will conduct its annual calendar giveaway, with each fan receiving a free 2024 calendar while supplies last. The calendar offers a vibrant reminder of some of last season’s racing highlights and sights and scenes from a typical day at the track.
Antonio Gallardo, the Boot Barn Jockey of the Month, rode three winners today, raising his meet total to 11 and his career victory mark to 2,492. Gallardo won the third race on A Kiss for Khozan, a 3-year-old Florida-bred filly bred and owned by Stonehedge LLC and trained by Kathleen O’Connell.
Gallardo captured the fourth aboard Bold Blue, a 3-year-old gelding bred and owned by I. M. Gorasht and trained by William Morey. The rider added the sixth with High Brow, a 4-year-old Florida-bred colt owned by Steve Zeehandelar and trained by Steven Cahill. High Brow was claimed from the race for $6,250 by trainer Michael V. Simone for new owner Robert Deckert, Jr.
In the featured eighth race, the Lambholm South Race of the Week, 9-10 favorite Just Beat the Odds ran down pace-setter Spikezone to post a half-length victory in the time of 1:23.78 for the 7 furlongs on a sloppy track. Leading jockey Samy Camacho rode the winning 3-year-old colt, who is owned by Red Oak Stable and trained by Gregg Sacco.
In the second race, jockeys Mario Fuentes and Carlos Eduardo Rojas were unseated when their mounts fell in a chain-reaction accident on the far turn. Fuentes was sore afterward but left the racetrack in relatively good spirits, while Rojas was transported to Tampa General Hospital for further observation.
Both Fuentes’s horse, 3-year-old filly Firelane, and Rojas’s mount, 6-year-old Florida-bred mare Rain of Blessing, got back to their feet and ran on through the wire, with their trainers reporting later they were in good condition.