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Most simply, expect an action-packed day infused with unparalleled excitement. … filled with colorful sights, traditional sounds and indescribable feelings that only live Thoroughbred racing can create.
A race day usually consists of 8-10 races, all set at different distances and different skill levels—with between 6-12 different horses in each race (approximately 100+ horses you will see run in a single day).
The horses in each race will walk with their groom from the barn area on the backside of our racetrack, walking by the Clubhouse and the Grandstand on their way to the Saddling Paddock. Once they enter the Saddling Paddock, each horse will be identified and then saddled by their trainers in the Saddling Stalls. The horses will then be taken out to the Walking Ring—where visitors/bettors can get the best look at the horses, as their jockeys connect with their mounts.
You will hear the sounds of a bugle play the traditional “Call to the Post” as the horses file onto the track in the Post Parade. Once you get the chance to check out all of the horses, head over to the betting windows to place your bets—all wagers must be placed before the race begins.
With a race every 20-25 minutes, the action arrives fast and furious.
We are a family-friendly track and welcome kids of all ages to join in on cheering for their favorite horses and jockeys!
As a family-friendly track, you will see a wide range of outfits from suits and dresses to shorts and tank tops, baseball caps and visors to fedoras and vibrant Derby hats. Whatever you decide on, we want you to be comfortable and have a blast! You might find our Florida style slightly more casual than other racetracks; we encourage you to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing and shoes. Keep in mind, since we’re so close to the beach, our weather can change quickly. You might also want to grab a raincoat on your way out the door!
We have a dress code for all visitors to the Skye Terrace Dining Room, located on the third floor of the Clubhouse. Gentlemen are required to wear a collared shirt and shorts and skorts are not permitted. (The Skye Terrace Dining Room reopens Jan. 1, 2022.)
Cash is the only accepted means to place a wager, so please keep that in mind.
We do accept credit cards in our On-Track Gift Shop, concession stands and bars, and our Skye Terrace and Sports Gallery restaurants.
You are welcome to bring cameras and encouraged to tag us in your posts and include #tampabaydowns!
You can bring coolers if you are planning to watch the races from the Backyard Picnic Area. Glass containers are not allowed. All coolers and bags are subject to inspection by Security.
General admission is $3.00 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and free on Wednesdays.
Children 12-and-under are free when accompanied by an adult.
Reserved seating and box seats are $5.00 and available from an usher on race days.
Seats in the Carrel Theater and the Sports Gallery are $3.00.
Tampa’s 2021-2022 racing season began on Thursday, July 1 and runs through Thursday, June 30 (the traditional seasonal meeting runs from Wednesday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, May 7). The Tampa Bay Downs season runs 91 days.
As soon as you drive toward the track, you will see numerous parking signs. General parking is free. Gates for the trackside parking lot open at 11 a.m. Valet parking is $5.00, also at the Clubhouse entrance. There is handicapped parking available at the Grandstand and Clubhouse entrances.
There is no right or wrong way to pick a horse! Everyone develops their own unique strategy-some are as simple as choosing their favorite horse’s name, by the color of the horse, the jockey riding…and some go with their lucky numbers; others study past performances and other “inside” information in the program to make a selection. No matter your approach, the favorite only wins about 33 percent of the time, so the potential for a big payday is always there! Bet types include straight wagers (win, place and show) and exotic wagers (daily double, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, Super High-5, Pick-3, Pick-4, Pick-5 and Ultimate Pick-6).
We take pride in our ability to please the most discriminating palates, while at the same time satisfying patrons in search of a hot dog and beer while handicapping. There is no reason not to sample every dining area during the meeting, including the Skye Terrace Dining Room, on the third floor of the Clubhouse, the Sports Gallery, on the first floor of the Clubhouse, Silks Bar and Grille, on the third flood of the Grandstand, and Legends Bar, on the second floor of the Grandstand. Also, check out the Riders Up! Bar on the first floor of the Grandstand for food and drinks and an occasional hot tip!
You CAN bring coolers if you are planning on watching the races on the lawns in the Backyard Picnic Area. You are not allowed to bring your cooler anywhere inside the building or grandstand apron. Absolutely NO glass containers. All coolers and any other carry-in items are subject to inspection by Security.
There are several giveaway days (always Saturdays) throughout the Tampa Bay Downs meet each year. On these days, you are entitled to a free promotional gift with purchase of admission while supplies last. These promotions range from ball caps and T-shirts to folding chairs and coolers. Every year, there is a different lineup of giveaways.
If you are interested in Grandstand Box Seats, get to the track early as a limited number of these seats are available on race days. See the Box Seat Usher. For more information on reserved seats call 813-855-4401, ext. 1350.
Our newest facility offers you the ultimate in pampered hospitality. Enjoy live racing excitement with high-end amenities. You’ll be very impressed by how close you are to the action with Tampa Bay Downs’ most exclusive venue. Towering just trackside, the Stella Artois Trackside Garden Suite is dramatically positioned to provide you unparalleled views to racing action. Hear the thunder of each gallop and see the gallantry of jockey and horse in the “suitest” spot on the Track. Call Group Sales for more information at 813-855-4401, ext. 1386.
There are specially marked areas designated for wheelchairs in the Clubhouse behind the reserved seat section. One person may accompany and sit with the handicapped person in these areas, and there is handicapped parking available at the Clubhouse. There are no motorized vehicles or scooters available for rent at the Race Track, so any desired arrangements for such services must be made separately.
Yes, there are three Will Call pick-up stations at the Track - one for the Clubhouse, one for the Grandstand and one for the Paddock. If you call 813-855-4401, ext. 1350 they can put you in line with the Will Call ticket station you are looking for.