by Mike Henry

Next week’s Tampa Bay Downs schedule has a slightly different look to allow fans, track employees and horsemen and horsewomen the chance to enjoy racing and spend quality holiday time with family and friends.

Thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs will be conducted Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before the entire facility closes on Dec. 25, Christmas Day. On Dec. 26, the Oldsmar oval will stage its first Sunday card of the season.

From that point forward, Tampa Bay Downs will race on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, with the exception of Easter Sunday, April 17.

Except for Christmas and Easter, the track is open every day 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.

Tampa Bay Owners Club race. In the 10th race, the “Tampa Bay Owners Club” contest purse on the turf, Lullaby Land and Musetta finished in a dead-heat to win, rewarding players who selected either 3-year-old filly in the contest with membership in each horse’s fantasy owners’ syndicate for the duration of the meeting.

Map the Moment finished a neck back in third in the blanket finish.

Lullaby Land, who is owned by her breeder, Patricia A. Generazio, and trained by Luis Carvajal, Jr., was ridden by Fernando De La Cruz. Alonso Quinonez was aboard Musetta for owner Carole Star Stables and trainer Jose H. Delgado.

Both winners are Florida-breds. Lullaby Land was selected by 59 winners and Musetta was chosen by 87 winners. A total of 616 fans participated.

Individuals who picked either winner in the free-to-play contest receive many of the perks associated with Thoroughbred ownership each time their horse returns to action at the current meeting, including free admission; a Tampa Bay Downs racing program; a mutuel voucher; concession-stand discounts; and an attractive “Tampa Bay Owners Club” pin.

Winners also will be admitted to the paddock before their horse’s races and inside the winner’s circle when their horse wins again. Contest winners will be contacted via e-mail each time their horse is entered at the Oldsmar oval.

Around the oval. Six-time Tampa Bay Downs riding champion Daniel Centeno made his 50th birthday extra special by winning the ninth race, the Lambholm South Race of the Week, aboard the 7-year-old Florida-bred gelding Awesome Anywhere. Joining Centeno and trainer Skip Einhorn in the winner’s circle were his wife Brooke and their 3-month-old daughter, Sophia.

Awesome Anywhere, who is owned by Law Legacy Stables, improved to 9-for-25 with the ¾-length victory from Bring Me a Check.

Fernando De La Cruz, Samy Camacho and Antonio Gallardo each rode two winners. In addition to his dead-heat score on Lullaby Land, De La Cruz won the fourth race on Tiz Triumphant, a 3-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by Mr. Pug, LLC, J.P.G. 2, LLC and C. Gregge Dasher and trained by Gerald Bennett.

Camacho captured the first race on Gold Special, a 2-year-old Florida-bred gelding bred and owned by Amalio Ruiz-Lozano and trained by Angel M. Rodriguez. Camacho added the third race on the turf with Quick Conversation, a 3-year-old filly owned by the MyRacehorse syndicate and trained by Christophe Clement.

Gallardo won the seventh race on Nick the Cardshark, a 7-year-old Florida-bred horse owned by Carole Star Stables and trained by Jose H. Delgado. Gallardo added the eighth on the turf on Wicked Groove, a 3-year-old filly owned by Acclaimed Racing Stable, Sabal Racing Stable and Patrick Rhodes and trained by Darien Rodriguez.