09/28/2011 1:29PM

Tampa Bay gives $25,000 boost to seven stakes


Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla., has scheduled 25 stakes races for its 2011-12 meet offering approximately $2.6 million in total purses, the track said on Wednesday.

The purse total is a $175,000 increase over the 2010-11 meet, due to $25,000 increases to seven stakes, including the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, a Grade 3 race restricted to 3-year-olds scheduled for Feb. 4 that is often used as a prep for Tampa Bay’s most prominent Kentucky Derby stepping-stone, the Tampa Bay Derby.

The 2012 Tampa Bay Derby, a Grade 2 race with a $350,000 purse, is scheduled for March 10. The undercard will include the Grade 3, $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes on the turf and the $100,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

The Feb. 4 Sam F. Davis card will also include the $150,000 Florida Oaks and the Grade 3, $150,000 Endeavor Stakes for fillies and mares. Both races will be run on the turf at 1 1/16 miles.

Tampa Bay’s 92-day meet is scheduled to run from Dec. 3 through May 6, the day following the Kentucky Derby.