Tampa Bay Downs will begin a customer reward program called "The Club" when the Oldsmar, Fl, track's 93-day meet begins Dec. 16. The $50,000 Inaugural Stakes (six furlongs for 2-year-olds) highlights opening day, during which the track will giveaway American flag lapel pins to the first 5,000 paid admissions.
"The Club" program awards patrons with one point per dollar wagered on the live racing product and one point per dollar wagered on simulcast races. Those points are deposited into the patron's account to be redeemed for prizes. Points are also awarded for non-Thoroughbred simulcast wagers.
The high-ticket prize (100,000 points) is a trip to the Orleans Handicapping contest in Las Vegas. Other prizes include a clubhouse pass for the next live season (5,000 points), a $25 betting voucher ($2,500 points), and a $10 food voucher (1,000 points). Registration for "The Club" begins Dec. 15 and is limited to the first 5,000 to apply.
The high point of the meet occurs on St. Patrick's Day, when the $200,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), $150,000 Florida Oaks (gr.III), and $100,000 Hillsborough Stakes will be conducted.
First post will be 12:30 p.m. for most race days this meet. Racing will be conducted Thursday-Sunday and Tuesdays, with the exception of Dec. 21, Dec.25, and Friday's in April.