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2015-16 PLAYERS' GUIDE

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TAMPA BAY2015-16 PLAYERS GUIDE

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TAMPA BAY 2015-16

MEET PREVIEW JOCKEY STATS

TRAINER STATS

BEYER CLASS-LEVEL PARS

WINNING POST POSITIONS

STAKES SCHEDULE

JOCKEY-TRAINER COMBINATIONS

All races

Dirt races

Turf races

Graded stakes races

All races

Dirt races

Turf races

Graded stakes races

1st-time turf

1st-time starters/2-year-olds

Wet-track races

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CONTENTS

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TAMPA BAY 2015-16

STAKES SCHEDULEDATE RACE CONDITIONS DISTANCE PURSE

Sat., Dec. 19 INAUGURAL STAKES 2YO 6 furlongs $100,000

Sat., Dec. 19 SANDPIPER STAKES 2YO F 6 furlongs 100,000

Sat., Dec. 19 LIGHTNING CITY STAKES F-M, 3YO & Up 5 furlongs (T) 100,000

Sat., Jan. 9 TURF DASH 4YO & Up 5 furlongs (T) 100,000

Sat., Jan. 23 WAYWARD LASS STAKES F-M, 4YO & Up 1 1/16 miles 50,000

Sat., Jan. 23 PASCO STAKES 3YO 7 furlongs 100,000

Sat., Jan. 23 GASPARILLA STAKES 3YO F 7 furlongs 100,000

Sat., Feb. 13 SUNCOAST STAKES 3YO F 1 mile, 40 yards 100,000

Sat., Feb. 13 SAM F. DAVIS STAKES (G3) 3YO 1 1/16 miles 250,000

Sat., Feb. 13 TAMPA BAY STAKES (G3) 4YO & Up 1 1/16 miles (T) 150,000

Sat., Feb. 13 ENDEAVOUR STAKES (G3) F-M, 4YO & Up 1 1/16 miles (T) 150,000

Sat., Feb. 20 PELICAN STAKES 4YO & Up 6 furlongs 100,000

Sat., Feb. 20 MINARET STAKES F-M, 4YO & Up 6 furlongs 50,000

Sat., March 12 TAMPA BAY DERBY (G2) 3YO 1 1/16 miles 350,000

Sat., March 12 FLORIDA OAKS (G3) 3YO F 1 1/16 miles (T) 200,000

Sat., March 12 HILLSBOROUGH STAKES (G3) F-M, 4YO & Up 1 1/8 miles (T) 150,000

Sat., March 12 CHALLENGER STAKES 4YO & Up 1 1/16 miles 100,000

Sat., April 9 FLORIDA CUP SPRINT 4YO & Up 6 furlongs 75,000

Sat., April 9 FLORIDA CUP SOPHOMORE 3YO 7 furlongs 75,000

Sat., April 9 FLORIDA CUP SOPHOMORE FILLIES 3YO F 7 furlongs 75,000

Sat., April 9 FLORIDA CUP SOPHOMORE TURF 3YO 1 1/16 miles (T) 75,000

Sat., April 9 FLORIDA CUP DISTAFF TURF F-M, 3YO & Up 1 1/16 miles (T) 75,000

Sat., April 9 FLORIDA CUP TURF CLASSIC 4YO & Up 1 1/8 miles (T) 75,000

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TAMPA BAY 2015-16

By Nick Fortuna

Rolling Super Hi Fives and several stakes-packed Satur-days are just two of the things horseplayers can look forward to as Tampa Bay Downs kicks off a 90-day stand Saturday.

The Oldsmar, Fla., oval is introducing rolling Super Hi Fives with a $1 minimum and an 18 percent takeout rate, the same rate as for its pick threes, pick fours, and doubles. The wager requires a bettor to select the races first five finishers in order, and if the wager isnt hit, the pool will carry over to the next race or the next day, creating the potential for hefty payoffs. Its a new wrinkle to a wagering menu that also features a popular 50-cent pick five with a 15 percent takeout, according to Peter Berube, the tracks vice president and general manager.

The stakes schedule features 23 races worth a track-record $2.7 million due to a $40,000 purse increase for the Challenger Stakes. The $100,000 route for older horses is part of a four-stakes Festival Day card March 12 that offers a track-record $800,000 in stakes purses, featuring the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, Grade 3 Florida Oaks, and Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes. The Tampa Bay Derby offers 85 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to its top four finish-ers.

The other highlights of the meet include Festival Preview Day on Feb. 13, featuring the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes, Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes, Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes, and $100,000 Suncoast Stakes; Cotillion Festival Day on Dec. 19, featuring a trio of $100,000 stakes: the Inaugural, Sand-piper, and Lightning City; and Florida Cup Day on April 9, featuring six $75,000 stakes for Florida-breds.

There will be a half-dozen Saturdays with multiple stakes during the meet, with the $100,000 Turf Dash on Jan. 9 the meets only standalone stakes.

We looked across the country and just wanted to have some bigger days when other tracks didnt have big days, Berube said of grouping the tracks stakes together. Were cautiously optimistic [about the meet]. We have a good group of horses this year, and we feel that [Tampa Bay] Derby Day is going to be one of the best ever. The purse increase to the Challenger gives us four very good stakes that day.

Berube said the track plans to average three turf races a day and $142,000 in overnight purses, the same level as last year. Horsemen from tracks in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Canada have converged in Oldsmar, seeking a share of that money and a mild winter in the Florida sun. Theyll all be chasing Jamie Ness, who has won or shared the training title at the last nine Tampa Bay Downs meets and added training titles at Pimlico, Delaware Park, and Meadowlands since last spring.

Ness went 46 for 147 at the 2014-15 Tampa meet for an outstanding 31 percent strike rate, beating out Gerald Bennett (43 wins) and Kathleen OConnell (39), who once again should provide his strongest competition at this meet. Ness, who had 2,390 career wins through Nov. 23, set the Oldsmar single-season record with 79 victories during the 2011-12 meet and topped all trainers in North America with 395 wins in 2012.

Other top returning trainers include Arnaud Delacour, Tom Proctor, Sandino R. Hernandez Jr., Jason DaCosta, Chad Stewart, Dennis Ward, Eoin Harty, and Dale Bennett.

The leading jockey on the grounds is Antonio Gallardo, who set a track record last season with 147 winners from 579 mounts for an impressive 25 percent strike rate. Gallar-dos mounts are usually well meant, with 314 (54 percent) finishing in the money last season, and are usually bet accordingly.

Gallardo, a 28-year-old native of Spain, has won two straight riding titles at Tampa Bay Downs and two consec-utive at Presque Isle Downs. He set a track record this year at that Pennsylvania venue with 161 winners from 603 mounts (27 percent). Through Sunday, Gallardo ranked second among all jockeys in North America with 287 wins this year, trailing only two-time Eclipse Award winner Javier Castellano (308).

Gallardo will be challenged by five-time Tampa title winner Daniel Centeno, as well as Albin Jimenez and Fernando De La Cruz, who finished first and second this year at Indiana Grand with 108 and 97 wins. Jimenez is a newcomer to Tampa this season, while De La Cruz ranked third behind Gallardo and Centeno last season at Tampa with 60 wins. Other returning riders include four-time track champion Ronnie Allen Jr., Victor Lebron, Dean

Meet previewmeet preview

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TAMPA BAY 2015-16

Butler, and Pablo Morales. A notable newcomer is Chris-tian Santiago Reyes, who won the 2009 Eclipse Award for the nations top apprentice jockey.

One notable absentee will be Rosemary Homeister Jr., a fixture in the local jockey colony who finished fourth last season with 42 wins. Shes taken a leave of absence from riding to work as a personal fitness trainer and nutritional consultant in Illinois.

As far as the track profile goes, Tampa Bay Downss repu-tation as a surface kind to speed is well deserved, accord-ing to DaCosta, who finished fifth in the trainers stand-ings last season with 23 wins.

It is pretty much speed-favoring, he said. Thats not to

say that you cant come from off [the pace] sometimes, but you dont want to be too far off the pace. The turf course plays pretty fairly. Its a really good course. The turns are a little bit tight, but I think its still pretty fair.

This track is pretty fair with post position. Normally, you wouldnt want the No. 1 hole going seven-eighths, for example, but here, horses tend to stay off the rail, so you can come through on the rail. At Tampa, the post positions are pretty even.

First post Saturday is 12:25 p.m. Eastern. The track will race Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for three weeks before adding Sundays to the mix Dec. 20. The meet closes in earnest May 8, with one additional card set for June 30.

http://www.drf.com/drf-bets-ticketmaker

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TAMPA BAY 2015-16

MAIN TRACK

5- 5 1/2 F PP WINS STS PCT.1.........15 ......85 ....(.18)2.........13 ......85 ....(.15)3...........5 ......85 ... (.06)4...........8 ......85 ... (.09)5...........8 ......85 ... (.09)6...........5 ......85 ... (.06)7.........12 ......81 ....(.15)8.........11 ......66 ....(.17)9...........5 ......50 ....(.10)10.........1 ......29 ... (.03)11 .........2 ......17 ....(.12)12.........0 ........6 ... (.00)

6 FPP WINS STS PCT.1.........17 ....153 ....(.11)2........ 21 ....153 ....(.14)3........ 22 ....153 ....(.14)4.........14 ....153 ... (.09)5.........14 ....153 ... (.09)6.........17 ....144 ....(.12)7.........17 ....127 ....(.13)8.........16 ......97 ....(.16)9...........8 ......72 ....(.11)10.........4 ......38 ....(.11)11 .........2 ......19 ....(.11)12.........1 ........5 ... (.20)

6 1/2-7 FPP WINS STS PCT.1........ 20 ....193 ....(.10)2........ 26 ....193 ....(.13)3........ 23 ....193 ....(.12)4........ 21 ....193 ....(.11)5.........18 ....193 ... (.09)6........ 33 ....192 ....(.17)7.........17 ....171 ....(.10)8.........14 ....141 ....(.10)9...........9 ......93 ....(.10)10.........6 ......63 ....(.10)11 .........4 ......41 ....(.10)12.........2 ......22 ... (.09)

1m 40yPP WINS STS PCT.1........ 27 ....136 ... (.20)2.........18 ....136 ....(.13)3.........11 ....136 ... (.08)4.........16 ....136 ....(.12)5.........12 ....136 ... (.09)6.........17 ..