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Tampa Bay Downs

By BRANT JAMES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 15, 2001

WHEN/WHERE: 11 this morning; 11225 Race Track Road, Oldsmar.

OPENING DAY: The 93-day live meet opens with as much anticipation and more promise than any in the track's 76-year history. For the first time, the track's two signature races, the March 17 $200,000 Tampa Bay Derby and $150,000 Florida Oaks, will be graded (III), which heightens their importance as Triple Crown preps and increases the chances that high-quality horses will participate.

NEW STUFF: Tampa Bay Downs launched its new Web site this week at tampadowns.com or tampabaydowns.com, with menus providing condition books, race information and simulcast schedules.

THE CLUB: Patrons can earn points for dollars wagered at Tampa Bay Downs on any race or simulcast. Points can be redeemed for rewards ranging from a race program (200 points) to a trip to Las Vegas (100,000).

FESTIVAL PREVIEW DAY: Feb. 23 ($50,000 Suncoast and Sam F. Davis stakes).

STEEPLECHASE: On March 9, the National Steeplechase Association returns with jumpers for the third year.

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