by Mike Henry

Jockey Bryce Alderson was reported to be in serious but stable condition at St. Joseph’s Hospital Trauma Center in Tampa late this afternoon after being injured during the fourth race at Tampa Bay Downs.

Alderson was aboard the 2-year-old gelding Expialidocious when Squeakers Shadow drifted out in front of them through the stretch of the 1-mile contest, causing the first-time starter Expialidocious to clip heels and throw his rider to the turf. Seconds later, the 24-year-old Alderson was kicked in the head by a trailing horse as he lay on the ground.

Expialidocious was not injured. Squeakers Shadow was disqualified from fifth and placed last for interference. Cat Prado won the race.

A native of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, Alderson won his first race at Fort Erie Race Track in 2011 on Kinshasa’s Paradis. Alderson has ridden 55 winners in his short career.

Turf Dash nominations released. The Tampa Bay Downs stakes schedule shifts into high gear on Saturday, Dec. 31 with the 13th running of the $100,000 Turf Dash, a 5-furlong race on the grass course for horses 3-years-old and upward.

The Turf Dash has attracted 31 nominees, headed by 6-year-old gelding Mongolian Saturday, the 2015 TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner at Keeneland. Owned by Mongolian Stable and trained by Enebish Ganbat, Mongolian Saturday won the Grade III Woodford Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select on Oct. 8, before an unplaced finish in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.

Also nominated are the 1-2 finishers in last season’s Turf Dash (which was run in January), Fast Flying Rumor and Power Alert. The 4-year-old Florida-bred gelding Fast Flying Rumor, owned by Winning Stables and Midnight Rider and trained by leading Tampa Bay Downs conditioner Gerald Bennett, achieved a track-record Beyer Speed Figure of 108 in his Turf Dash triumph while defeating Power Alert by almost five lengths.

Other intriguing nominees are 3-year-old filly Triple Chelsea, who won the $100,000 Lightning City Stakes for fillies and mares going five furlongs on the turf on Saturday, and Clearly Now, a 6-year-old multiple Grade III-winner and earner of more than $1.1 million.

Calendar giveaway on tap. The Oldsmar oval will distribute the 2017 edition of its popular commemorative calendar to patrons with paid admission beginning Wednesday, Dec. 28 and continuing Dec. 30 and 31, while supplies last.

The 2017 calendar contains information on racing, poker, golf and dining; important dates;  historical track nuggets; and stunning photography. It is certain to be well-received as a holiday season gift.

Around the oval. Samy Camacho scored back-to-back victories on today’s card. Camacho won the fourth race on the turf on 2-year-old Cat Prado for owner Four Guys and trainer Horacio Barbaran. He added the fifth on 2-year-old Florida-bred filly Adios Cat for owner Mary Chamberlain and trainer Harold Schultz.

Adios Cat was claimed from the race for $16,000 by trainer Maria Bowersock for new owner Ralph E. Whitney.

Leading jockey Daniel Centeno also rode two winners. In the seventh race, Centeno piloted 2-year-old filly Jazz Pizzaz to victory for owner Vince Campanella and trainer Keith Nations. Centeno added the ninth on 3-year-old gelding Polygram for owners Stanley Officina and Hemingway Racing and trainer Ian Hemingway.

Thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs resumes Friday with a 10-race card beginning at 12:22 p.m. The track is conducting racing each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday through December, with the exception of Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. Sundays will be added to the mix on Jan. 1.

Tampa Bay Downs is open every day except Christmas, Dec. 25, for simulcast wagering, no-limits poker action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.