Due to a 23% increase in handle to date, Tampa Bay Downs will boost purses 5% effective Feb. 20, Peter Berube, the track's vice president and general manager announced. The purse hike comes on the heels of a previous 6% raise the Oldsmar, Fla., oval that went into effect Jan. 30. "The Tampa simulcast signal continues to flourish, despite soft on-track figures" Berube said. "Handicappers across the country are responding to our full, competitive fields and solid turf racing." To date, wagering on Tampa Bay Downs' simulcast signal is averaging $2.4 million per day, an increase of $500,000 over 2001-02.
Overnight purses, raised to $100,500 per day (including Florida Owner Awards) on Jan. 30, will be $105,525 with the new increase, officials said.