Saturday, November 26, 2016, Post Time 12:25 p.m.
The 91st anniversary season in track history picks up where it left off on July 1. Top stables, trainers and jockeys return to the track famous for its immaculate turf course, swaying palm trees and fan-friendly atmosphere. The track mascot, Mouse the Miniature Horse, is also expected to make her seasonal debut. Patrons can register free online for the 10 Days of Festivus Handicapping Challenge!
Friday, December 2, 2016 10 Days of Festivus Challenge On-line Handicapping Contest:
Test your skills against the best Oldsmar oval handicappers from across the nation in this competition, which runs through December 23. The winner receives a $1,000 prize! Details are available at www.tampabaydowns.com.
Saturday, December 3, 2016 “Welcome Back” Breakfast at the Downs, 8-10 a.m.:
Get an early start on the day’s racing excitement by attending the annual breakfast buffet under the Trackside Picnic Pavilion tent. For only $8, you’ll receive scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, fresh fruit, coffee or tea and pastries, along with Grandstand admission and a Tampa Bay Downs racing program. Jockeys and trainers and guest speakers will join in as you watch the morning workouts. Tickets can be pre-purchased at the General Office. Two $100,000, six-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds are scheduled: the Inaugural for colts and geldings and the Sandpiper for fillies.
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, December 28, 30 & 31, 2016 Calendar Giveaway:
Tampa Bay Downs presents the 2017 edition of its popular, free commemorative calendar to the first 10,000 patrons, with paid admission. Makes for a great New Year’s Eve gift!
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Fans are invited to join track announcer Richard Grunder for the debut of his “Morning Glory Club” at 10 a.m., while enjoying free donuts and coffee and watching morning Thoroughbred workouts. Attendees get to ask questions of Grunder and his guests, including owners, trainers, jockeys and track officials, each Saturday morning through March 11 (Festival Day). The New Year’s Eve racing card includes the $100,000 Turf Dash Stakes.
Sunday, January 8, 2017 Sunday Brunch Begins:
Savor a full day of racing and first-class cuisine in the Skye Terrace Dining Room for only $28.95 a person, with a full breakfast menu followed by traditional Sunday dinner fare and scrumptious desserts. Reservations are suggested; no shorts or skorts, and collared shirts for gentlemen, please.
Saturday, January 28, 2017 Cap Giveaway Day:
A free Tampa Bay Downs cap with the distinctive track logo is available to all patrons with paid admission, while supplies last. Top jockeys will be available for autographs during the afternoon!
Saturday, February 11, 2017 Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South:
A major day of racing with implications on the national 3-year-old picture. The card features three graded events, highlighted by the Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, which awards points on “The Road to the Kentucky Derby” to the first four finishers. Also on tap are the Grade III, $150,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes and the Grade III, $150,000 Tampa Bay Stakes, both on the turf, and the $100,000 Suncoast Stakes, which the last two years has produced victorious 3-year-old fillies that subsequently won Grade I stakes. Festival Preview Day also kicks off the “Live It Up Challenge” Handicapping Contest, a free online promotion with a grand prize of $2,500 and a seat at the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. The contest runs through April 2.
Sundays, February 12 & 26, March 5 & 19, 2017 Kids and Family Days:
Thoroughbred racing has never been so much fun for the entire family! In addition to the on-track action, everyone will get to meet track mascot Mouse the Miniature Horse, and the kids can enjoy pony rides, bounce houses and a variety of games and special activities.
Saturday and Sunday, February 18-19, 2017 Golfest:
Sample the newest equipment from major manufacturers, register to win prizes and take part in a series of fun events comprising the “Back Nine Challenge” at the seventh annual links extravaganza at The Downs Golf Practice Facility. Free lessons are available and some of the biggest names in the industry will appear on stage.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Tampa Bay Downs Festival Day: The biggest racing day in track history, with more than $900,000 in stakes purses alone, is highlighted by the 37th renewal of the Grade II, $350,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby for 3-year-old Triple Crown candidates. It is a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points race. Other showcase events include the Grade II, $200,000 Hillsborough Stakes and the Grade III, $200,000 Florida Oaks, both on the turf; the $100,000 Challenger Stakes; and the brand-new Columbia Stakes on the grass. To help celebrate Festival Day, a commemorative gift item will be given out with paid admission, while supplies last.
Sunday, April 2, 2017 Florida Cup Day:
The Florida-bred showcase, which is being conducted on a Sunday for the first time since 2004, gives state-breds in all divisions a chance to compete for more than $600,000 in purses. Six $100,000 stakes races – three for 3-year-olds and three for older horses – are featured, at a variety of distances, on both dirt and turf.
Saturday, May 6, 2017 Kentucky Derby Day:
Is there another American Pharoah on the horizon? If you can’t be at Churchill Downs, the Oldsmar oval is the place to find out! Tampa Bay Downs offers a special 12-race card, followed by the simulcast of the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. Mint juleps will be sold here in the official commemorative Derby glass. Louisville has the race, but we have one heck of a party!
Sunday, May 7, 2017 Fan Appreciation Day:
Free Grandstand admission and parking, plus $1.50 draft beers, sodas and Nathan’s Hot Dogs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., are our way of saying “Thank you so much!” to our loyal customers.
Friday, June 30, 2017 Summer Festival of Racing:
This two-day annual event opens with the final card of the 91-day, 2016-2017 meeting, followed the next day by the start of the 2017-2018 season. It’s an ideal way to kick off the long Fourth of July weekend!