Saturday events are a way to sample tastes of Tampa Bay while enjoying all the Thoroughbred action.
Tampa Bay Downs fans seeking a treat for their taste buds have two opportunities over the next few weekends to mix racing excitement with delicious food and drink.
On Saturday, the Oldsmar oval will play host to its annual “Seafood Fest” from noon-4 p.m. under the Picnic Pavilion Tent just north of the paddock. A seafood boil, shrimp, jambalaya and the fixin’s, plus king’s cake, are included in the $34.95 cost.
Patrons attending “Seafood Fest” will receive free admission and a racing program and get to spin the wheel for additional prizes.
“Tequila & Tacos” are the fare on Saturday, March 14, also from noon-4 p.m. under the Picnic Pavilion Tent. The cost is $29.95, which includes an all-you-can-eat taco bar, churros, as well as admission, a program and a spin of the prize wheel.
For details on either event, call (813) 855-4401 or visit www.tampabaydowns.com on the Internet.
Around the oval. Two-time Tampa Bay Downs stakes winner Imperial Hint and 2019 Grade II Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Tacitus are in Saudi Arabia for Saturday’s Saudi Cup card at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh. The 7-year-old Florida-bred Imperial Hint, a four-time Grade I winner trained by Luis Carvajal, Jr., will compete in the $1.5-million Saudia Sprint at a distance of 1,200 meters (about 6 furlongs).
Tacitus, a 4-year-old colt trained by Bill Mott, is entered in the $20-million, mile-and-an-eighth Saudi Cup against the likes of Maximum Security, McKinzie, Midnight Bisou and Mucho Gusto.
Trainer Kathleen O’Connell sent out two winners today. She won the second race with first-time starter First Homestead, a 3-year-old Florida-bred gelding bred and owned by Peggy Dellheim and Pete Mattson. Raul Mena was the jockey.
O’Connell’s second victory came in the sixth race with 4-year-old Florida-bred Blazing Brooke, a filly she owns in partnership with Double T Racing. Antonio Gallardo was the jockey.
Jose Ferrer won today’s first and ninth races. In the first, he rode 4-year-old Florida-bred filly Mardi Gras Girl to victory for owner-trainer Karyn Philipp. Ferrer added the final race on Real Doozie, a 3-year-old Florida-bred filly owned by breeder Ballybrit Stable and trained by Mike Dini.
Thoroughbred racing continues Friday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:40 p.m. Tampa Bay Downs races each Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 3, with the exception of Easter Sunday, April 12, when the track is closed.
Saturday’s 10-race card includes the third legs of the Tampa Turf Test starter handicap series for older horses which have started for a claiming price of $16,000 or less in 2019-20. The Fillies and Mares Division, which is the sixth race, has drawn 12 entrants (All Good Times is a “main-track only” entrant and Darlindiva is on the also-eligible list). The Males Division, slated as the eighth race, has attracted 10 geldings 4-years-old-and-upward.
Both races are scheduled at a distance of a mile-and-an-eighth on the turf.
Sunday is another “Kids & Family Days” event, with families gathering in the Backyard Picnic Area beginning at 12:25 p.m. Children get to enjoy pony rides, bounce houses, games and special activities, with an expected appearance by the track mascot, Mouse the Miniature Horse.
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.