Tampa Bay Downs

Beem Hired as Tampa Announcer

Jason Beem, who has called races at numerous Thoroughbred tracks since 2006, has been hired as the announcer at Tampa Bay Downs. He will begin on June 30, the first day of the track's two-day Summer Festival of Racing. The 41-year-old University of Washington graduate currently announces at Grants Pass Downs in Oregon and will begin his third season at Colonial Downs July 19. At Tampa Bay Downs, he replaces Richard Grunder, who retired on May 2 after 37 years and more than 37,000 races at the Oldsmar oval. "I...

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Fourth Purse Increase for Tampa at this Meet

Beginning with Wednesday's card, Tampa Bay Downs will increase purses by 10% due to continued gains in simulcast revenue. It marks the fourth time purses have been upped during the 2020-21 meeting, which opened Nov. 25 and will continue to May 2, with previous boosts occurring Dec. 16, Feb. 3, and Feb. 20. "The latest increase is a tribute to our horsemen who strive to deliver a quality product, the racing office for its efforts to provide competitive racing with full fields, and fans around the country who continue to...

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Tampa Announcer Richard Grunder to Retire

Richard Grunder, the track announcer at Tampa Bay Downs for the past 37 years, is hanging up his binoculars after the May 2 card. Citing health concerns, the 68-year-old has chosen to retire after a lifetime spent in the sport. He is believed to have called in the vicinity of 37,000 races at Tampa Bay Downs and is currently the longest-tenured announcer at any racetrack in the country. "My goal a few years back was to try to go until I was 70, but I've got a medical situation I...

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Maiden Winner With 'Un'-Tapped Potential

The GI Kentucky Derby-bound Helium (Ironicus) wasn't the only 3-year-old colt to impress on the GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby card Mar. 6. Untreated (Nyquist) put on a show earlier that day as well, graduating by a pole for Todd Pletcher at second asking with a flashy, come-from-behind maiden tally in his two-turn debut (video). He earned a very solid 86 Beyer Speed Figure. A well-beaten sixth as the 4-5 favorite behind next out GIII Sam F. Davis S. winner Candy Man Rocket (Candy Ride {Arg}) going six furlongs...

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Helium Returns Big 'Balloons' In Tampa Bay Derby Upset

D J Stable LLC's Helium (Ironicus) overcame an impossibly wide trip and gamely fended off a late charge from the well-backed Hidden Stash (Constitution) to upset Saturday's GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby by three-quarters of a length while making his dirt and two-turn debuts. Perfect in two starts going seven furlongs over the Woodbine synthetic last year, including a 4 1/4-length success in the Display S. when last seen Oct. 18, the $55,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling graduate's worktab included a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 (1/8) at Palm...

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Kitten's Joy's Domain Expertise Gets Up in Florida Oaks

Jouster shot to the front as Domain Expertise settled in the second half of the field heading into the first turn. Residing in the two path while covered up midpack down the backstretch, the 5-1 chance took aim at the front approaching the quarter pole and was fanned four wide around the final turn. Picking up the tempo but with seemingly too much to do as Jouster was free-running in early stretch, the Chad Brown runner proved undeterred as Antonio Gallardo asked for more and his charge responded, reeling in...

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Uncle Mo Filly 'Trucks' Home at Tampa, Becomes Rising Star

Sent off at debut odds of 19-10 for a purse-enhanced maiden at Tampa, Juddmonte homebred Lory (Uncle Mo--Principal Role, by Empire Maker) overwhelmed her rivals by 7 3/4 lengths to become a new 'TDN Rising Star.' Clearly last into stride from the two hole, the bay quickly made up for lost time, accelerating all the way up into about fourth position as the field neared the entry to the far turn. Samy Camacho seized upon the opportunity to send Lory through an opening at the inside when pacesetting Summer Home...

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Tampa Announces Third Purse Increase

Tampa Bay Downs announced its third purse increase this season, which will go into effect with Saturday's card. Ongoing gains in simulcast revenue have led to another 10% boost, with an additional $2,500 for all allowance races and maiden special weights and $1,250 claiming and starter races. The increase amounts to approximately $15,000 more per day in total purse money. Tampa Bay Downs previously increased purses by 10% Dec. 16 and again on Feb. 3. Officials further postponed the track's annual Turf Sprint Showcase Day from Sunday to next Wednesday,...

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Tampa Pushes Back Turf Sprint Stakes

Tampa Bay Downs has pushed back its pair of $100,000 five-furlong turf sprints, the Turf Dash S. for older males and Lightning City S. for fillies and mares, from next Saturday to Sunday, Feb. 21. The pair of events are the centerpieces of the track's annual Turf Sprint Showcase Day. "The turf course has taken in excess of two inches of rain the last two days, with more rain forecast during the week," Tampa Bay Downs Vice President-General Manager Peter Berube said. "By switching the races to Sunday now, horsemen...

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Candy Ride Colt Tops Mott One-Two in Sam Davis

Candy Man Rocket (Candy Ride {Arg}), a blowout maiden winner at second asking at Gulfstream Jan. 9, led home a one-two finish for the Hall of Fame Bill Mott barn with a press-and-pounce, one-length score while making his two-turn debut in Saturday's GIII Sam F. Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs. Pasco S. winner Nova Rags (Union Rags) followed home his stablemate and just edged out the somewhat green Hidden Stash (Constitution) for second. The Sam F. Davis carries 10-4-2-1 qualifying points on the Road to the GI Kentucky Derby....

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Curlin Filly Bosses Rivals in Suncoast

Favored at 9-5 while making her return to stakes company in Saturday's Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs, Breeze Easy's Curlin's Catch (Curlin) split horses decisively at the entrance to the home stretch and powered clear to score by daylight. Beaten for speed in a scratched-down field of seven, the Ontario-bred raced slightly worse than midfield through the opening stages with a couple of rivals behind. Ridden quietly down the backstretch, she caught the eye when rallying between rivals three furlongs out, took an inside path into the lane and...

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Smiley Sobotka Makes '21 Debut in Sam Davis

Albaugh Family Stables' Smiley Sobotka (Brody's Cause), last seen finishing second behind Keepmeinmind (Laoban) in the Nov. 28 GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., makes his sophomore debut in the 1 1/16-mile GIII Sam F. Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday. The chestnut colt tuned up for his return to the races with a four-furlong drill in :46.81 (2/118) at Gulfstream Park last Saturday. Michael Shanley's Nova Rags (Union Rags) makes a return trip to Tampa following his win in the seven-furlong Pasco S. last time out Jan. 16. The...

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