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.

PURITIANB More than 1 year ago
I can see some trainers redoing their schedule in order to fit in the TBD & SD. Smarty Jones did this starting a campaign in Philly east coast & thur the mid-west onto the Derby and collected a tidy 5 million that Bank of America offered if a horse could win certain races before the Derby & win the Derby. Needless to say that B of A never offer that again.
mikey More than 1 year ago
This is Churchill's chance to give it to Gulfstream.Give the TBD AND SFD more points to get in the Derby.Cut out the Gulfstream races and push the good horses to TBD.These guy's belong in D.C. with the other babies.
Walter More than 1 year ago
This will attract some additional horses to the Sam Davis as long as the Tampa Bay Derby is still worth points. Trainers would run in the Davis, TB Derby & select one of the other late preps (Wood, Ark Derby, Bluegrass), if their horse ran well in all three, it would give them enough points & the potential for the bonus. Remember, money talks
Lefty More than 1 year ago
So top horses might be tempted to go to TBD instead of Gulf Stream. ORB might have done it. He won at the Fountain of Yute and the Florida Derby. So he could have won an extra cool million if he does it at TBD. I could go for an extra cool million. Sounds intriguing! However, I don't see top trainers picking TBD over Gulfstream or Oaklawn.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Incentives influenced spend a buck to skip the preakness .money talks bullstuff walks
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Smartly Jones received 5 million from oaklawn if my memory serves me right. Going to need more then one million dollars.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
He did (Smarty) indeed, Rahman. John said if he didn't do well in that last "prep" race, The Ark Derby, he was not going to the Derby, fate is a wonderful things at times :-)
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Best PA BRED EVER was just a little to short at Belmont. I never blamed it on the jockey, he squeeze all he could out of the son of Elusive Quality with Smile (Bc sprint champ) as dam sire to get that mile 1/2. Just was not meant to be
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Wasnt it also a sloppy track that day?
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Rahman, you seem like a racing enthusiast and love to speculate and bet some money on your convictions, and you really appreciate the horses, the sport need's more like you :) Here is a true story. Back in 1984, I worked for "Pop" Lenzini,, we had a horse named Admirals Image, a freak, and pure hickory, he could move like Landaluce, whereas a horse or two would try to "put pressure" on him, he would then draw off, with a little more than a 1/4 mile and win by 24 lengths. His winning margins were unreal. Pop only let Bill Murphy (RIP,BILL) and me handle and groom the Admiral, as he was 2yo PA Horse of the year, with Jockey Joe Mucciolo. Pop brought him in one day, and he told me he just went 32 and change and to cool him out good, he couldn't blow out a match. So, I put his Blanket on him, engraved PA Champion 1984 (he won ALL his races as a 2yo. Well, I'm strutting around chest pumped and proud with the "big horse" and this "guy" say's to me, "Whatta ya think, you got something special there, hell he's Just a PA Bred" Didn't matter, I was walking the 2yo champ, on the next turn, he say's it again, this time, I said, "Yeah, well I hope you can win the Derby with a PA bred"!!! HaHa!!! Oh, BTW, the trainer breaking my gnads was no other than John Servis. After a few years I went to work with John Charles, and he is one hell of a horseman, and I told him I've worked with & seen a lot of great trainers, and I made a prediction (when he and I road down with a shipper to PIM) that I honestly believed that he would win the Derby, this guy could train, but knew horses like few others I've seen, and I said, "I hope it's not with a PA bred" :-)
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Great story.
John Howland More than 1 year ago
Storm Cat was a Pa bred.Who do you think was worth more,Smarty or Storm Cat?
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
On the track Smarty. definitely Storm cat is worth more.RIP.
GQ More than 1 year ago
Cannot wait until Churchill downs makes the Calder Derby a point race for the Kentucky Derby and takes the points away from the Florida Derby. Bloodbath in S Florida continues. Kill each other fools. George in Naples
M More than 1 year ago
There is no shot they use TBD as a stepping stone for 2 races especially the sam f davis. Verazanno ran big last year and couldnt handle the wet track. Long shot if any that this goes down. I am concerned that the fields at TBD will now be shorter with black balling cheater trainers.
rudeboyelvis1 More than 1 year ago
The Sam F Davis I no longer a Derby point race, hence the reasoning. There is exactly a 0.0% chance of this happening. Nice try though!
mikey More than 1 year ago
Hope this will put a dent in the Gulfstream races.
John More than 1 year ago
Never happen . Tampa Downs needs to increase the purse money for most of their races. $ 25,000 Allowance races won't draw any serious racehorse owners or Trainers to compete there every day.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Maybe the fla derby. or other KD preps