Tampa Bay Downs
Previously known as Tampa Downs, Sunshine Park and the Florida Downs and Turf Club, the Tampa Bay Downs opened for racing in 1926. In the 1950s, the track was a favorite spot for sportswiters in Florida to cover spring trainig baseball, and they referred to it as the “Santa Anita of the south.”
Tampa Bay Downs Track Layout
The track at Tampa Bay features a one-mile dirt course and a seven-furlong inner dirt surface.
Track History & Facts
In 1926, the track opened under the name of Tampa Downs. The inaugural season lasted 39 days, but the track closed after only nine days of racing in 1927. In 1932, repairs and restoration activities were undertaken, and the track reopened in 1934, but poor track handles forced it to close yet again.
World War II forced the track to become a jungle warfare training center for the U.S. Army. After the war, new stalls are added and the track was reopened under a new name - Sunshine Park. The new park featured an electric starting gate and photo finish camera.
In 1966, the track was renamed Florida Downs and Turf Club. The first sale of thoroughbreds was also conducted this year. In 1989, inter-track horse wagering started in Florida and Tampa Bay Downs began year-round simulcast wagering. Today, Tampa Bay Downs is home to many stakes races. Two of the best stakes races offered at Tampa Bay Downs are the Tampa Bay Derby and the Sam F. Davis Stakes.
In addition to live and simlucast racing, Tampa Bay Downs includes a Poker Room, and a practice golf facility staffed by PGA pros.
Tampa Bay Downs Betting Odds
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