Thoroughbred racing fans are invited to join the action Saturday when Tampa Bay Downs simulcasts the second leg of the Triple Crown, the $1.5-million Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes, from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
The first of Saturday’s 14 races at Pimlico will go off at 10:30 a.m., while Tampa Bay Downs will open its gates at 10 a.m. Wagering and food and beverage service will be available in The Silks Poker Room Bar & Grille on the third floor; Legends Bar on the second floor of the Grandstand; the Sports Gallery on the first floor of the Clubhouse; and the Carrels Room.
In addition to the Preakness, the card includes seven other stakes, three of which are graded events.
Scheduled post time for the Preakness, which is the 13th race, is 6:18 p.m.
Two of the eight 3-year-old entrants, Divining Rod and Danzig Moon, competed in Oldsmar this winter. Divining Rod finished second in the Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes on Jan. 31 and third in the Grade II, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.
Conditioned by top Tampa Bay Downs trainer Arnaud Delacour, Divining Rod won the Grade III Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 11 in his most recent start. He will be ridden Saturday by Javier Castellano, who won the 2006 Preakness on Bernardini. Divining Rod is a homebred racing for the Lael Stables of Roy and Gretchen Jackson.
The Canadian-bred Danzig Moon, owned by John C. Oxley and trained by Mark Casse, finished fourth in the Tampa Bay Derby before an impressive second-place effort in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 4. He earned fifth-place money in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Danzig Moon will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
The Kentucky Derby winner, American Pharoah, has been established as the 4-5 morning-line favorite for the Preakness. A victory would put the Bob Baffert-trainee, to be ridden by Victor Espinoza, in line to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in Thoroughbred history with a victory in the Belmont Stakes on June 6.
Today’s Pimlico card, which begins at noon, includes seven stakes, four of which are graded. It will be simulcast in its entirety, and Tampa Bay Downs, as always, will also simulcast Thoroughbred and greyhound action as well as jai alai from across the country.
Tampa Bay Downs is also open every day for no-limits poker action and Three Card Poker in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.