Tampa Bay Downs has long been a renowned horse-racing institution and is the only Thoroughbred track on this side of the peninsula. Festival Day is one of its largest events; a day packed to the brim with high-risk, high-reward races and one even awarding points to the top four finishers towards qualification for the Kentucky Derby. All told, $1-million dollars will be on the line Saturday, March 7. Doors open at 11 a.m. and races end after 6 p.m. There are plenty more events at the racetrack too in March!
Kids & Family Day | March 1 & 15
Bring the kids, grandparents and the whole family for a fun day at the races! Everyone can enjoy meeting the track mascot Mouse the Miniature Horse, pony rides, bounce houses, games and special activities plus of course all of the on-track action! Meet at the Backyard Picnic Area beginning at 12:25 p.m.
Tampa Bay Downs Festival Day | March 7
There's $1-million dollars on the line on Festival 40 at Tampa's favorite racing track! It's five huge races including major race Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby. Other stakes races that day include the Grade II, $225,000 Hillsborough Stakes on the turf; the Grade III, $200,000 Florida Oaks on the turf; the Grade III, $100,000 Challenger Stakes; and the $75,000 Columbia Stakes on the turf. Betting at The Downs is organized for the race-goers convenience and makes it easier than ever to wager some hard-earned cash or to make a huge win. For those brave or smart enough to bet right, the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta will give the wagerer the highest odds and largest turnout, should they predict correctly.
The Downs has also added a new wager to keep those adventurous enough to stick around. The Ultimate 6 requires that a wagerer correctly predict the winner of six successive races, paying out immensely for those savants out there.
Attendees betting on a horse will also be able to gather around the paddock (also known as the saddling enclosure) to view the horses before they head out from the paddock to the track for the post parade. Here, race-goers can meet-and-greet with the lucky horse(s) who will be carrying a jockey as well as a few bucks on their back.
While everyone is returning to their seats around the track, the tension in the surrounding square mile or two becomes nearly palpable as fans are rousing up from their chairs to shout encouragement at their pick. The excitement continues as they wait for the first set of hooves to break the finish line and the shout of the announcer - it's always a fun day at the racetrack. Buy your ticket now for the biggest racing day of the season!
Tequila & Tacos | March 14
Whether you won the jackpot or didn't win at all, everyone is welcome at the Tequila & Tacos event at Tampa Bay Downs exactly a week from Festival 40, on Saturday, March 14. Of course, there will be more races to bet on at the track if you didn’t quite get your fill or simply feeling luckier this time.
The Silks Poker Room will be hosting their own games and events, however, including but not limited to poker tournaments, cash prize games, and a full bar! Tickets are on sale now for this event for $29.95 for all you can eat tacos, admission and a chance to win at the prize wheel! The fun starts at noon and runs until 4 p.m.
Florida Cup Day | March 29
Top Florida-breds compete for more than $750,000 in purse money in the 18th annual showcase. Six $110,000 stakes races are featured, at a variety of distances, on both dirt and turf. Tickets are on sale now!
About Tampa Bay Downs
Tampa Bay Downs’ stakes season is 26 races long. The 2020 schedule has been posted or you can call the track at 813.855.4401 for more information. Tampa Bay Downs is located at 11225 Race Track Road in Tampa.