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April 27, 2019


by Mike Henry
Among the scheduled events on Kentucky Derby Day is the Hat Contest, with prizes awarded to the winners in men's, women's and children's divisions; Jose Angel Garcia, Pablo Morales each ride two winners today.

Grade II Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Tacitus, Pasco Stakes winner and third-place Tampa Bay Derby finisher Win Win Win and Tampa Bay Downs allowance winner Spinoff are among the likely starters in next Saturday’s $3-million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

The Oldsmar “graduates” are among an expected field of 20 3-year-olds preparing to chase glory in the 145th edition of the world’s most famous race, to be contested at a distance of a mile-and-a-quarter.

The post position draw, which can drastically improve or hinder a horse’s chances in such a large field, will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Tampa Bay Downs is planning an outstanding day-long party for next Saturday, with a 12-race card beginning at noon before the simulcast of the main event.

Included locally are two stakes races: the $100,000 Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Silver Charm Florida Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings and the $100,000 FTBOA Ivanavinalot Florida Sire Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Both races will be contested at a distance of a mile-and-40-yards and are restricted to FTBOA-registered Florida-breds sired by an FTBOA-registered Florida stallion, and having paid all Florida Sire Stakes eligibility fees.

In addition to the racing action, Tampa Bay Downs will hold a Kentucky Derby Hat Contest, with judging in men’s, women’s and children’s divisions. The competition will be held in the winner’s circle after the seventh race and prizes will be awarded to the winners.

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.

On Friday, Tampa Bay Downs will simulcast the $1.25-million Longines Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, as well as action from other tracks around the country. Next Sunday, May 5, is Fan Appreciation Day at Tampa Bay Downs, with free general admission, reduced prices for beer, hot dogs and soda and discounts on merchandise in the Tampa Bay Downs Gift Shop.

Around the oval. Jose Angel Garcia and Pablo Morales each rode two winners today. Garcia swept the early daily double, winning the first race on Fountainstreetkid, a 3-year-old Florida-bred colt bred, owned and trained by Bobby Raymond. Garcia added the second race on the turf on Ashley’s Rose, a 5-year-old Florida-bred mare owned by Steven Dye and trained by Michael Laurato.

Morales captured the sixth race on Zitman, a 5-year-old gelding owned by John Rigattieri and Stephen Derany and trained by Rigattieri. Morales also won the seventh race on the turf with Music Maker, a 4-year-old filly owned by Mrs. George M. Sensor and trained by Arnaud Delacour.

Thoroughbred racing continues Sunday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:25 p.m. Additional cards for the 2018-2019 meeting include Wednesday; Friday; Saturday, Kentucky Derby Day; and Sunday, May 5.

The meeting officially concludes on Sunday, June 30, which is also the first day of the two-day Summer Festival of Racing. The Monday, July 1 card is the first day of the 2019-2020 meeting, which is then expected to resume in late November.

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.