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Published Aug 22, 2023
by Mike Henry
A $5.5-million increase in overnight purses, along with a boost in maiden special weight pots to $53,000, set to lure horsemen, horsewomen and jockeys to the Oldsmar oval.

Stall applications for what promises to be the most eagerly anticipated season in Tampa Bay Downs history are available on the track’s website, www.tampabaydowns.com , or by clicking the following link: https://www.tampabaydowns.com/horsemen/2023-2024-stall-applications

The recent announcement of a $5.5-million increase in overnight purses for the 2023-2024 meet has seen horsemen and fan interest spiral, even in the dog days of a Florida summer. “We’re expecting a dramatic increase in the number of applications, which will make the job of the Stall Application Committee more challenging than ever,” said Peter Berube, track Vice President & General Manager.

“We look forward to this important step in ensuring a quality racing product. At the same time, we’ve witnessed excitement grow on various social media outlets among both our local fans and Tampa Bay Downs followers outside Florida,” Berube said.

“With average daily overnight purses projected to be in the vicinity of $200,000, we are confident the competition will be the finest we’ve enjoyed.”

All this, mind you, is with the Wednesday, Nov. 22 Opening Day card three months away. Interest will continue to build as the makeup of the stable roster comes together, reaching a crescendo on the day before Thanksgiving when the starting gate opens.

More good news on the money front: A recent outlay from the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association promotional fund will help to provide an additional $18,000 on offer to Florida-bred horses finishing first, second or third in maiden special weight races, boosting the total purse for such events to $53,000.

Florida-breds will also compete for $500,000 in additional purse money from the Florida-Bred Incentive Fund in open maiden special weight and allowance races.

Back to the stall applications, which must be received by Sept. 22 to be eligible for consideration.

Upon completion, horsemen have three options for returning the applications. They may be sent via e-mail to tbdstalls@gmail.com ; faxed to (813) 854-3539; or mailed to Tampa Bay Downs, P.O. Box 2007, Oldsmar, FL 34677. Past performances need not accompany applications.

All owners and trainers must be in good financial standing with the association and backside vendors (feed companies, vets, van companies, etc.) to be considered in the application process.

The Tampa Bay Downs barn area opens Wednesday, Oct. 25, with the first day of training the following Wednesday, Nov. 1.

The first condition book for the 2023-2024 meet is available at www.equibase.com (click “Horsemen” in the search bar atop the home page to get there).

A $5.5-million increase in overnight purses, along with a boost in maiden special weight pots to $53,000, set to lure horsemen, horsewomen and jockeys to the Oldsmar oval.

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