Thoroughbred Racing

Tampa Bay Downs season begins Wednesday

Oldsmar, FL (Sports Network) - The 2013-14 racing season at Tampa Bay Downs gets underway Wednesday as the track begins its 88th year.

"We are eager to welcome back all the fans who have contributed to our success, as well as introduce a new group of patrons to the magic of horse racing," said Peter Berube, the track's vice president and general manager. "The Riders Up! pub is one of several changes we feel will be well-received by our patrons, and we plan to keep striving to make a day at the races one of the best sporting experiences available in the Tampa Bay area."

The highlight of the season will be $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby at 1 1/16 miles held on Saturday, March 8. The race has become an important part of the road to the Kentucky Derby.

Won in 2013 by Verrazano, the Tampa Bay Derby is part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series, awarding qualifying points to the first four finishers toward entry into the Run for the Roses.

Racing at Tampa Bay Downs runs through Sunday, May 4.

12/04 10:10:56 ET

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