by Mike Henry

Tampa Bay Downs welcomes the whole family to enjoy Thoroughbred racing next weekend around a pair of popular annual promotions.

Saturday, Jan. 28 is Cap Giveaway Day, with each fan with receiving a cap with the distinctive track logo free of charge, with paid admission (while supplies last). Many of the track’s top jockeys will be on hand in the first floor of the Grandstand to sign autographs.

The following day is the first of five “Mouse’s Kids and Family Day” events of the season. Families can watch the races outdoors from the comfort of the Backyard Picnic Area, with bounce houses, slides, games and other activities scheduled for youngsters.

The Oldsmar oval’s mascot, Mouse the Miniature Horse, is expected to be on hand. She loves peppermints and is agreeable to having her picture taken with children.

Subsequent “Mouse’s Kids and Family Day” events are scheduled for Feb. 5, Feb. 19, Feb. 26 and March 5.

Tampa Turf Test. Ademar Santos had won on Katies a Lady the last two times he rode her last spring in front-running fashion, so he saw no need to change his tactics on the 4-year-old filly for today’s seventh race, the second leg of the Fillies and Mares Division of the Tampa Turf Test starter handicap series.

Playing a game of “catch me if you can” with his nine rivals, Santos pushed his 4-year-old filly to an 11-length lead up the backstretch in fractions of 22.64 for the opening quarter-mile, 46.66 for the half and 1:10.83 for 6 furlongs. The daughter of Tourist-Bronte had the fitness and desire to stay on for a 5 ¼-length victory from Inanna’s Quest in 1:41.48 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth.

Kathleen O’Connell trains Katies a Lady for owner Double D Stable. The victory was the filly’s fifth in 13 career starts. She paid $11.60 to win.

In the Males Division of the Tampa Turf Test, contested as the ninth race, 7-year-old gelding Smithwick’s Spice and jockey Antonio Gallardo rallied off a lively pace by Justintimeforwine to post a 2 ½-length victory from Fatima’s Blessing. The victory was the eighth in 29 starts for Smithwick’s Spice, who had won the Joey P. Handicap last September on the Monmouth Park turf.

The winner’s time was 1:41.09. He paid $8.40 to win.

Smithwick’s Spice is owned by his breeder, New Spice Stable, and trained by Doug Nunn, who also won the sixth race with 4-year-old Florida-bred gelding Fierce Warrior, owned by Keith W. Harris and ridden by Angel Arroyo.

Around the oval. Trainer Greg Sacco saddled two winners today. He won the fifth race on the turf when his 3-year-old filly Calisue, owned by Sacco in partnership with Michael Fazio, staged a whirlwind rally along the hedge for a nose victory from General Robinson. Angel Suarez rode Calisue, a daughter of 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome.

Sacco also won the eighth race, the Lambholm South Race of the Week, with his 3-year-old stakes-placed colt Freedom Road. Pablo Morales rode the winner, who was making his first start since Oct. 29, for Sacco and owners Pinnacle Racing Team and Madaket Stables.

Thoroughbred racing continues Sunday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:32 p.m. The track is open every day for simulcast wagering, no-limits action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.