Tampa's Chris Thomas Classic Gets Boost

(from Tampa Bay Downs release)
Tampa Bay Downs announced a purse increase to $75,000 for the May 7 Chris Thomas Turf Classic and the addition of a new stakes, the $75,000 Lightning City Stakes to the day's card.

The Chris Thomas Turf Classic, formerly run as the Columbia Stakes, was re-named last year in honor of the late and much beloved Tampa-area sportscaster and horseman, Chris Thomas.

Last year's purse was $60,000 for the about 1 1/8-mile turf test for 3-year-olds and upward.

The $75,000 Lightning City Stakes will be for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and upward, going five furlongs on turf.

Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs shattered three major records – total all source handle, attendance, and single-race handle – during its 13-race Festival Day card, the track's marquee event.