Updated on 10/19/2013 10:14AM

Tampa Bay Downs to offer million-dollar Kentucky Derby bonus


A horse that wins the 2014 Kentucky Derby following victories in the Tampa Bay Derby and Sam F. Davis Stakes will be awarded a bonus of $1 million by Tampa Bay Downs, the track announced on Wednesday.

Though five horses have won both the Sam F. Davis and Tampa Bay Derby – the most recent being Burning Roma, in 2001 – none of those horses went on to run in the Kentucky Derby. However, Tampa Bay’s reputation has been growing in recent years as a place to prep a horse for the Derby, with both 2010 Derby winner Super Saver and 2007 Derby winner Street Sense using a race at Tampa Bay as a springboard to Churchill Downs.

Tampa also announced that following the Sam F. Davis, the winning jockey will select the name of a Tampa Bay customer who had correctly named the winner of the race to be eligible to collect a $100,000 prize if the Sam F. Davis winner wins the Tampa Bay Derby and the Kentucky Derby.

“Nothing would make us happier than presenting $1 million to one of our owners and $100,000 to one of our loyal fans right after the Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in May,” said Peter Berube, the president of the track, in a statement.

The Sam F. Davis, run at 1 1/16 miles, is scheduled for Feb. 1. The Tampa Bay Derby, at 1 1/16 miles, is scheduled for March 8.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the Tampa Bay Derby is run at 1 1/8 miles. It is run at 1 1/16 miles.