Tampa Bay Downs bettors and fans have an ally in Trakus, the technology system introduced to the Oldsmar oval during the 2011-2012 meeting.
Trakus makes it easy to follow the progress of each horse in a race on television monitors and the infield big screen via saddlecloth-colored icons, known as "Chicklets," which display the precise position of each runner.
For handicappers, the benefits of Trakus keep coming after the official results are posted. In addition to displaying the full order of finish and the beaten margins of the also-rans, Trakus reveals how much additional or less ground (in feet) each horse traveled, using the winner as the baseline. Trakus also posts the final quarter-mile time for each horse.
How does Trakus work? A chip in the saddlecloth of each horse is tracked
by antennas programmed to determine each horse's running position and distance from the rail.
To old-timers, it might sound like something from the imagination of science-fiction author Ray Bradbury. But the bottom line is that Trakus gives sharp bettors an advantage that can fatten their bankrolls!