Tampa Bay Downs will increase purses 6% for the second time this meet, effective Friday. All overnight races will now be worth an additional $1,000. The first increase, which took effect Feb. 10, also raised purse money by $1,000 a race. The increases come in the wake of the four overnight purse increases at the track's 2020-2021 meet.
“Several factors have contributed to our ability to raise purse money again for our horsemen,” said Peter Berube, the track's vice president and general manager. “First and foremost is the quality product our horsemen continue to provide, which has led to an increase in wagering handle. Our racing office, headed by racing secretary Allison De Luca, works diligently to provide competitive races with large fields that attract bettors both on-track and from our simulcast outlets around the country. We have also enjoyed good weather much of the season, which has been reflected in our attendance figures.”
Tampa Bay Downs handled in excess of $12.1 million on its Feb. 12 Festival Preview Day card, headlined by the GIII Sam F. Davis S. The figure was the seventh-largest in track history.