by Mike Henry

Final preparations are being made for Saturday’s annual High Rollers Handicapping Contest Presented by HorseTourneys at Tampa Bay Downs, which will originate in the VIP Room.

First prize (based on 100 players) is $20,000. Cash prizes will be paid to the first five finishers.

On today’s card, the 20-cent Ultimate 6 wager was hit by a single unidentified bettor, who collects the entire jackpot of $151,418.94. The winning numbers were 2-7-8-4-3-12. The Ultimate 6 pool will start from scratch on Friday, with a carryover pool accumulating each day more than one bettor (or no bettors) hit the winning sequence.

Back to the High Rollers event, in which players are required to deposit $1,000 to enter, with $500 serving as the player’s bankroll for wagering and the remaining $500 going to the prize pool. At the conclusion of the tournament, any dollar amount remaining in the bankroll remains the property of the player.

Wager types permitted are win, place and show only, with each player making five $100 win, place and/or show bets during the tournament. The player with the highest bankroll takes top prize (50 percent of the prize pool), along with a seat in either the 2022 or 2023 National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship at Bally’s in Las Vegas and paid accommodations.

To enter, register at and make the required $1,000 payment by noon on Saturday. Players must check in at the VIP Room but are allowed to bet on any of the self-service wagering terminals throughout the racetrack.

For additional details, contact Margo Flynn at or (813) 855-4401, extension 1368.

Around the oval. Leading jockey Antonio Gallardo rode two winners today, giving him 22 for the meeting. Gallardo won the seventh race on the turf on Spiritual King, a 5-year-old gelding owned by Winner Circle Stables and trained by Douglas Nunn. Gallardo added the eighth aboard Bahamian Moon, a 5-year-old Florida-bred mare owned by Ridenjac Racing and David F. Kegley and trained by Dennis Ward.

Thoroughbred racing continues Friday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:38 p.m. Tampa Bay Downs races on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, with the exception of Easter Sunday, April 17, when the track is closed.

Otherwise, the Oldsmar oval 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.