Trainer Jena Antonucci saddled her first career winner, Irish Wildcat, in the 11th race at Tampa Bay Downs March 7.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced Feb. 22 that it will conduct a New Owner Seminar March 12 at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla.
Rule led at every call and further cemented himself as a legitimate Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender with a convincing three-length win in the $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 13 at Tampa Bay Downs
Rule looks to be the controlling pace in Saturday's Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs, and his speed figures tower over the competition.
A solid group of 3-year-olds, led by Delta Jackpot (gr. III) winner Rule, is set to clash at Tampa Bay Downs in the $200,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 13.
Musket Man made a successful return in his first start since back-to-back third-place finishes in the first two legs of last year's Triple Crown, winning the Super Stakes by a half-length at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 6.
Musket Man, winner of the 2009 Tampa Bay Derby and Illinois Derby, and third place finisher in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, will make his first start of the season in the $75,000 Super Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs
Kathleen O'Connell, the leading trainer at Tampa Bay Downs, won four races at the track Jan. 10, tying the record for most wins in a day there by a trainer set by O'Connell and Jamie Ness.
Apprentice jockey Kristina McManigell won her first career race when she piloted Real Stormy to victory in the second race Jan. 7 at Tampa Bay Downs.
General Quarters, winner of this year's grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, returns to the races at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Dec. 26 in an allowance test at six furlongs.
Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla., announced that donations totaling an estimated $27,000 from its horse racing community will benefit several local and national charities.
Calder Race Course announced the postponement of its two graded stakes scheduled for Dec. 5--the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) and $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIT)--due to a current quarantine of the stable area. There is no word on when the races will be rescheduled.
A horse previously stabled at Calder Race Course has tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus.
Tampa Bay Downs has announced its partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement of Tampa, a non-profit organization dedicated to the safe retirement, rehabilitation, and adoption of Tampa's racing Thoroughbreds.
Tampa Bay Downs vice president and general manager Peter Berube says the track "might not be in a position to continue" racing if the Florida legislature accepts the latest gaming compact between Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are nearing their Aug. 31 deadline to approve a Gaming Compact, which would trigger a new law that would provide economic benefits for the state's Thoroughbred industry and for that tribe's casinos.
Veteran racing official Robert "Bob" Clark, a steward at Thistledown since 2006, died early Aug. 7 at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. Clark had been operated on in late July for neck injuries and was reportedly on the road to recovery.
- By Tom LaMarra
The growth of casino-style gaming at racetracks has brought with it executives with little or no experience in horse racing, something horsemen said makes them more vulnerable to exclusionary practices.
- By Jim Freer
The Florida Legislature passed a gaming bill May 8 that includes several changes sought by the state's Thoroughbred industry, and a compromise on the contentious issue of table games at the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casinos.
Tampa Bay Downs reported May 7 a 2.7% decline in all-sources handle for its recently-concluded 2008-2009 winter/spring meet at the racetrack located in Oldsmar, Fla.
The Florida Legislature May 1 extended its annual regular session for seven days, with pending bills on Thoroughbred and other pari-mutuel issues and on Indian gaming among unfinished business.
Tampa Bay Downs concluded its 83rd live race meeting May 3 by handing out honors to the leading trainer, jockey, owner, and apprentice jockey.
The Florida Legislature will end its annual regular session May 1, and as of April 28 the House and Senate had not resolved major gaming issues including whether the Seminole Tribe of Florida should be able to keep blackjack and baccarat tables at its casinos.
Apprentice jockey Faith Schorr guided Jackie B Good to victory for owner/trainer Michael Thomas in the third race at Tampa Bay Downs April 28, giving the rider her first career victory.
Association of Racing Commissioners International president Ed Martin said April 23 a wagering system foul up April 22 poisoned wagering pools in five states affecting bettors across the country.
Members of the Florida House of Representatives March 24 released a draft of a bill that would require the Seminole Tribe of Florida to remove blackjack and baccarat tables from its casinos. The proposal would permit the Seminoles to keep the Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines they began installing at their Florida casinos last summer.
The chairman of an important Florida Senate committee March 24 introduced a bill that would allow Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course to have blackjack and baccarat, while permitting the Seminole Tribe of Florida to keep those two games and add roulette and crap tables at its casinos.
Eric Fein and Vic Carlson's Musket Man found his best stride inside the sixteenth-pole and edged out longshot Join in the Dance by a neck to win the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) March 14.
The top five finishers from the competitive Suncoast Stakes in February will face each other again in the $200,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III) March 14 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Tom McCarthy's General Quarters, impressive winner of last month's Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III), will try to prove that his runaway victory was no fluke when he returns for $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) on March 14.
- By Ryan Conley
Magna Entertainment Corp. claims it owes more than $235 million to its largest 50 unsecured creditors, including many prominent names in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry.
Daniel Centeno, leading rider at Tampa Bay Downs, added five more victories to his total at the Oldsmar, Fla., track on Feb. 22.
Driven by its live export signal to out of state outlets, total handle is up slightly at Tampa Bay Downs through the mid-way part of the 94-day meet, the track reported Feb. 20.
Thomas McCarthy's General Quarters pulled a shocker and threw his name into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) mix, as he stalked the pace, took over rounding the far turn and pulled away for a convincing 3 1/2-length score in the $221,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 14.
Stormy West and American Border, who have seven consecutive wins between them, will do battle in a full field of fillies and mares in the $125,000 Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 14 on the Tampa Bay Downs turf course.
Silver Wing Stable's Free Country, undefeated in two starts including an impressive nine-furlong allowance win at Gulfstream Park last month, makes his highly-anticipated stakes debut in the $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 14 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Rosemary Homeister, Jr. booted home Rustyshouldrun for her 2000th career victory Dec. 18 at Tampa Bay Downs.
- By Ryan Conley
Wagering on Tampa Bay Downs' 83rd live meet, which opens Dec. 13, will be available to most advance deposit wagering outlets, the Oldsmar, Fla., track announced Dec. 12.
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.
- By Jim Freer
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering has ordered jockey Pascacio "Paco" Lopez to serve 27 days of stewards' suspensions, including seven days at Gulfstream Park's 2009 meet that begins Jan. 3.
Tampa Bay Downs is requiring veterinarians to pay their first-ever licensing fees for its meet that begins Dec. 13. A licensing fee for blacksmiths was planned but has been put off until the 2009-10 racing season.
- By Tom LaMarra
Horse racing's problems, what its future could be, and a call to positive action figured prominently at the recent International Simulcast Conference in Florida.
An official of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said on May 14 that his organization will issue a proposal that would enable Calder Race Course to carry the simulcast signal of the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) -- with a condition.
Trainer Jamie Ness and jockey Daniel Centeno set records for most victories in winning their respective titles at Tampa Bay Downs, which concluded its 82-day meet May 4.
As the Florida legislature prepares to end its annual session May 2, chances appear very slim that it will pass either of two slot machine bills being sought by the Thoroughbred industry.
Aurora Springs Stable's Awesome Chic used a perfect ground-saving trip under Irwin Rosendo, took over at the top of the stretch, and drew away to win the $200,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III) by 4 1/2 commanding lengths March 15 at Tampa Bay Downs.
The Florida Senate approved March 13 two slot-machine bills that would help the state's Thoroughbred racetracks and other pari-mutuel facilities. However, there is considerable opposition to the bills in the Florida House of Representatives, and the influential Seminole Tribe of Florida is expressing concerns about the legislation.
Two bills that would help Thoroughbred racetracks, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co., and the state's other pari-mutuel facilities will be on the calendar when the Florida legislature begins its annual two-month session March 4.
The Nick Zito trainee won his stakes debut Feb. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Frank Calabrese's homebred Dreaming of Anna kicked off her 4-year-old campaign with a photo finish that was almost too close to call when she outbobbed 6-5 favorite Lear's Princess in the $150,000 Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 16.
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