Tampa Bay Downs will kick off its 91-day meet Dec. 11, with the Tampa Bay Derby highlighting the Oldsmar, Fla. racetrack's 85th season. Twenty-five stakes will be run for an approximate total of $2.5 million in purses.
The $65,000 Lightning City Stakes, a five furlong turf test for fillies and mares, tops opening day of the 2008-2009 Tampa Bay Downs racing meet, which begins Dec. 13 and runs through May 3. The Tampa Bay stakes schedule encompasses 26 races with more than $2.7 million in purses and is highlighted by the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) on March 14.