Friday’s 10-race Thoroughbred card features a $54,775 Super High-5 jackpot carryover, kicking off an exciting weekend of racing action at Tampa Bay Downs.
Post time for Friday’s first race is 12:38 p.m., with the Super High-5 wager available on both the fourth and 10th races. In the Super High-5, bettors are required to pick the first five finishers in exact order. The minimum Super High-5 wager is $1.
Should no one buy the winning ticket in the fourth race, the entire jackpot will carry over to the 10th race.
There is also a $9,447 carryover for the Pick-5, which requires bettors to select the winners of the final five races on the card (races 6-10 Friday). The minimum Pick-5 wager is 50 cents.
Saturday is Cap Giveaway Day, with each patron receiving a purple cap with the Tampa Bay Downs insignia with paid admission, while supplies last.
Post time for the first of 11 races Saturday is 12:25 p.m.
The Tampa Bay Stakes Prep is Saturday’s 10th race, at a distance of 1 mile on the turf. It has attracted 13 entrants, with 10 going postward. The morning-line favorite at 3-1 is Kinsman Stable’s 6-year-old gelding El Commodore.
The Kentucky-bred son of El Prado-Fancy Clancy, by Rahy, is trained by Greg Griffith and scheduled to be ridden by Angel Serpa. El Commodore – who has won five of 24 career starts – finished second by a nose in the 2012 edition of the Grade III, $150,000 Tampa Bay Stakes to Roman Tiger (ridden that day, ironically, by Serpa).
The 2013 renewal of the Tampa Bay Stakes, to be run at a distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth, is Feb. 16.
Other well-regarded Tampa Bay Stakes Prep entrants include 5-year-old San Antone, trained by George “Rusty” Arnold and to be ridden by Marcelino Pedroza; 8-year-old gelding Let It Rock, from the barn of Chad Stewart, with Danny Coa aboard; and the Lori Smock-trained 7-year-old gelding Allie’s Event, Fernando De La Cruz in the irons.
The Tampa Turf Test races, each with a purse of $20,000 and contested under starter handicap conditions, are the fifth and seventh races on Saturday’s card. Both will be run at a distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth.
The fifth race is for fillies and mares 4-years-old-and-upward and the seventh is for horses 4-and-upward.
Saturday’s festivities begin at 10 a.m. with track announcer Richard Grunder’s Morning Glory Club, which features interviews with track officials, trainers and jockeys throughout the season. Attendees receive free grandstand admission, donuts and coffee.
Tampa Bay Downs will also offer a full card of Thoroughbred racing Sunday and begins its five-days-a-week schedule (Wednesday through Sunday) next week.
The track is open every day for simulcast wagering, no-limits poker action in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.