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April 12, 2019

KENTUCKY DERBY RESERVED SEATS GOING FAST; TWO FTBOA STAKES ON CARD

by Mike Henry
Reserved Grandstand seats on the May 4 finish line are $10; patrons who pay the $3 general admission fee can access Grandstand seating on a “first-come, first-served” basis, as always.

Tickets are selling fast for the Saturday, May 4 Tampa Bay Downs card featuring a pair of $100,000 Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association stakes races for 3-year-olds and leading to the simulcast of the 145th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve from Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Tampa Bay Downs “graduates” are likely to occupy three of the 20 available positions in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve starting gate, with Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Tacitus, third-place finisher Win Win Win and allowance/optional claiming winner Spinoff all expected to enter.

Reserved Grandstand seats on the finish line are $10. Patrons who pay the $3 general admission fee on May 4 can access Grandstand seating on a “first-come, first-served” basis, as always.

Two of the last four Kentucky Derby winners, American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018, went on to become Triple Crown winners after capturing the Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore and the Belmont in New York.

Tampa Bay Downs will present a 12-race card leading to the simulcast of the Run for the Roses. First-race post time here will be noon.

Patrons will be dressed to the nines in Derby finery, adding to the pageantry and aura of Thoroughbred racing’s greatest spectacle, and mint juleps will be sold in commemorative Kentucky Derby glasses, which sport the names of each winner from Aristides in 1875 through Justify in 2018.

Fans can reserve tickets on the track website at www.tampabaydowns.com by clicking on “PREMIER DAY TICKETS” and following along. Call (813) 855-4401 for details.

Both of the May 4 Tampa Bay Downs stakes are for registered Florida-breds sired by an FTBOA-registered Florida stallion. The FTBOA Silver Charm Florida Sire Stakes is for males and the FTBOA Ivanavinalot Florida Sire Stakes is for fillies.

Around the oval. Jose Ferrer, Pablo Morales and Antonio Gallardo each rode two winners today.

Ferrer won the third race on Foot in the Door, a 3-year-old gelding owned by Ballybrit Stable and trained by Mike Dini. He also won the fifth with Swap Meet, a 3-year-old filly owned by St. Elias Stables and trained by Anthony Margotta, Jr.

Morales won the second race aboard Salsa Lane, a 4-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by Martin Goodell and trained by Maria Bowersock. He added the sixth race on the turf on Astute Warrior, a 6-year-old gelding owned by Acclaimed Racing Stable and Gumpster Stable and trained by Darien Rodriguez.

Gallardo swept the late daily double, both on the turf. He won the eighth race on Rhythmia, a 3-year-old Florida-bred gelding bred and owned by Vegso Racing Stable and trained by Dale Bennett. Gallardo won the ninth with Crown of Joy, a 4-year-old Florida-bred filly bred and owned by Peggy J. Follin and trained by Kathleen O’Connell.

Thoroughbred racing continues Saturday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:25 p.m. The feature is the fifth race, an allowance/$75,000 optional claiming event for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 6 furlongs. The morning-line favorite at 3-1 is Florida-bred Suzie’ssteppinout, who is 4-for-8 lifetime, three of those victories coming during the current meeting. She is trained by Maria Bowersock and will be ridden by Scott Spieth.

Tampa Bay Downs will simulcast Saturday’s Grade I, $1-million Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park, which has attracted a field of 11 3-year-old Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve hopefuls. The morning-line, 8-5 favorite is the Bob Baffert-trained Improbable, who will be ridden by Jose Ortiz.

Also on the simulcast schedule is the Grade III, $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes from Keeneland. Heading the field of 10 3-year-olds is Anothertwistafate, trained by Blaine Wright and to be ridden by Javier Castellano.

Tampa Bay Downs races on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule through Sunday, May 5, with the exception of Easter Sunday, April 21, when the track is closed.

Otherwise, Tampa Bay Downs 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.

May 5 is Fan Appreciation Day. Grandstand admission and parking are free. From 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Nathan’s hot dogs and fountain sodas are $1.50 and 16-ounce domestic draft beers are $2.50.