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January 20, 2019


by Mike Henry
Victory by 91-1 shot creates largest win, exacta and trifecta payoffs of the meeting; fans can interact with jockeys during autograph signings Saturday; late double pays $623.60, courtesy of jockey Scott Spieth.

Before riding True Honor for the first time in today’s fifth race, 20-year-old jockey Manny Jimenez decided to pay more attention to the past performance charts than the tote board that displayed odds of 91-1 on the 4-year-old colt.

“His last few races weren’t too good, but look at this one,” Jimenez said, pointing to a wire-to-wire victory by True Honor in August at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia. “So I decided to go to the lead today, and it worked out.”

The strategy paid off with a length-and-a-quarter victory over Money Broker in the 7-furlong, $8,000 claiming event and the largest win payoff of the 2018-2019 Oldsmar meeting: $184 for a $2 wager.

The $2 exacta payoff of $1,727.80 for the winning 5-7 combination was also a season mark, as was the $1 trifecta payoff of $31,859.20 for the winning 5-7-9 combination (a 42-1 shot, Cool Eddie, finished third).

Four winning 50-cent trifecta tickets were sold. There were seven winning 10-cent superfecta tickets sold, each returning $5,640.87 on the winning 5-7-9-6 combination.

True Honor, now 2-for-10, is owned by Valeriano Terraza Perez and trained by Jacob Palacios Molina.

Cap Giveaway Day is Saturday. Fans can interact with jockeys when Tampa Bay Downs holds its annual “Cap Giveaway Day” on Saturday.

This year’s cap is blue and white, with the distinctive track logo in orange. It will be presented to all fans with paid admission.

Throughout the course of that day’s racing program, jockeys will be available to sign autographs at a table on the first floor of the Grandstand.

On the following Saturday, Feb. 2, the track will hold its first “Bourbon, Barbecue & Cigars” event beneath the Picnic Pavilion Tent just north of the paddock. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased by visiting and clicking the “Premier Day Tickets” link on the home page.

The cost includes all-you-can-eat barbecue, bourbon-tasting and fine stogies, as well as a Tampa Bay Downs racing program.

A week later, on Feb. 9, Tampa Bay Downs will stage its Festival Preview Day 39 Presented by Lambholm South, with four stakes races on tap. The centerpiece is the Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points race for 3-year-olds racing a mile-and-a-sixteenth.

Two graded turf stakes, both a mile-and-a-sixteenth in distance, will be contested: the Grade III, $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour for fillies and mares 4-years-old-and-upward and the Grade III, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes for horses 4-years-old-and-upward.

Three-year-old fillies get their chance to compete for big bucks in the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes at a mile-and-40 yards. The Suncoast is a “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” points race.

Festival Preview Day 39 Presented by Lambholm South tickets can be purchased on the website, , by clicking “Premier Day Tickets” and following the links.

Around the oval. Leading jockey Samy Camacho, Ricardo Feliciano and Scott Spieth each rode two winners today. Camacho, who has 50 victories for the meeting, won the sixth race on Sunset Empire, a 4-year-old Florida-bred filly owned by Winning Stables and Ray Rech and trained by Gerald Bennett.

Camacho added the seventh aboard Blue Eyed Girl for owner Bruce Lunsford and trainer Barbara Minshall.

Feliciano swept the early daily double. He won the first race on Super Beau, a 7-year-old gelding owned by Roberto Baez and trained by Pearl Chain. Feliciano captured the second race with The Pink Rattler, a 3-year-old Florida-bred colt bred and owned by Teri Jo Herwy and trained by Edward L. Williams.

While the 2-2 Feliciano double paid $82.80 for a $2 wager, Spieth’s late double of 6-2 in the ninth and 10th races returned a whopping $623.60. Spieth won the ninth race on Native Hawk, a 7-year-old gelding owned by Aldana Gonzalez Racing and trained by Gonzalez. Native Hawk paid $35.40 to win.

Spieth added the 10th and final race on the turf  on 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding Iron Shadow, who paid $55.40 to win for breeder-owner Carolyn Wilson and trainer Kelsey Danner.

Thoroughbred racing continues Wednesday with a 10-race card beginning at 12:25 p.m. The track is open every day for simulcast wagering, no-limits action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.