Saturday's "Festival Preview Day" at Tampa Bay Downs was a smash with bettors nationwide evidenced by a record all-source handle of $5,359,437 at the 79-year-old oval. The previous record of $5,353,782 was established last March 14 during the track's premiere event, Festival Day. Last year's Festival Day card consisted of 13 races while Saturday's card had just 12.
Attendance on the overcast day was 4,877, one of the highest at the meet to date. Festival Preview Day is highlighted by three stakes – the Sam F. Davis, the Endeavour, and Suncoast Stakes – that serve as the respective local preps for the $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III); $100,000 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. III) and $150,000 Florida Oaks.