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November 24, 2017

SPANISH-SPEAKING FANS TO REAP BENEFITS OF NEW WEBSITE LINK, PODCASTS

by Mike Henry
With an extensive background in Thoroughbred racing and the computer-based skills to deliver his knowledge in a timely and informative fashion, Luis Ocasio will open a new window onto the Tampa Bay Downs racing scene for Spanish-speaking fans.

Tampa Bay Downs is set to embrace its vast Hispanic audience by offering Spanish-language program pages, handicapping information, interviews and a daily podcast, called Tampa en Español, through a link on its website, www.tampabaydowns.com

The link will be managed by Luis Ocasio, a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering as well as a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico with a Master’s Degree in Applied Mathematics.

Ocasio has worked for Hipodromo Camarero racetrack in Canovanas, Puerto Rico since 2001, first as the Director of a daily publication containing news and past performances and the TV racing analyst for local and simulcast racing, and as the track’s webmaster since 2010. 

Camarero has not conducted horse racing since Hurricane Maria ravaged the main island in mid-September. Ocasio hopes to use his podcast to reach out to horsemen and racing fans who have moved to Florida since the disaster, as well as fans back home.

“Many Puerto Rican horsemen have brought their horses to Tampa. The podcast will give them a way to receive information they can use to follow the races,” Ocasio said Wednesday from his home in San Juan, P.R.

Ocasio plans to present a 20-minute podcast for each day’s racing program. “We want to keep it lively, informative and fast-paced,” he said. “My analysis will be more oriented to the horse’s pedigrees, action and speed figures. Watching replays and more replays – that’s where the value is found, and Tampa is all about VALUE.

“The basic information will always be available, but I think there is a need to give people more than the horses’ names and numbers. Also, fan engagement and participation is a must,” Ocasio said.

At Hipodromo Camarero, Ocasio, whose father Antulio Ocasio has been a Thoroughbred owner for 45 years, was responsible for developing code for a content-management system website that enabled owners to monitor their horses’ medication and services consumption. He has also worked in catalog sales production, with Serie Hipica del Caribe’s website, www.clasicocaribe.org , and for a tournament website.

His expertise in website development and his racing background promise to offer the best of both worlds to Spanish-speaking fans.

“There are so many Hispanics interested in horse racing, not only Puerto Ricans but people from Central and South America countries, which illustrates U.S. horse-racing’s evolving demographic structure,” he said.

“My hope is that we can give them a greater insight into beautiful Tampa Bay Downs, its sandy dirt course and spotless grass course, and its competitive horses and friendly people.”

Tampa Bay Downs resumes its 2017-2018 Thoroughbred racing season Saturday.