tampa bay

Kathleen O’Connell’s Racetrack Crew ‘Willing To Go The Extra Mile’

When it comes to doling out tender, loving care at Barn 25 on the Tampa Bay Downs backside, trainer Kathleen O’Connell is an equal-opportunity distributor. O’Connell, the Salt Rock Tavern Trainer of the Month, is attuned to the heartbeats of each of the 35 Thoroughbreds in her barn, as well as the 25 or so […]

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Tampa Bay Downs Schedules ‘College Day’ Promotion For Jan. 18

Attracting new generations of fans to the majesty and excitement of Thoroughbred racing is a goal of every racetrack operator. Tampa Bay Downs has made steady strides in that area in recent years. The track’s “Kids & Family Days” gatherings on Sundays in February and March – featuring pony rides, games and bounce houses – […]

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Tampa Bay Downs Plans Second Annual High Rollers Handicapping Contest For January 11

The second annual High Rollers Handicapping Contest, featuring a potential first-place prize of $20,000, will be held Saturday, Jan. 11 in the VIP Room at Tampa Bay Downs. To enter, players are required to deposit $1,000, of which $500 serves as the player’s wagering bankroll and $500 goes to the prize pool. Any dollar amount […]

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Merango Tango ‘Always Wanted To Be A Racehorse,’ Wins At Tampa After Five-Year Layoff

Five years can seem like an eternity in horse racing. But when owner-trainer Tim Padilla traveled to Purcell, Okla., early this year to pick up former stable star Merango Tango, it seemed like 2014 all over again, and he devised a plan to get him back to the races. The 8-year-old gelding brought the heartfelt […]

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‘Every Horse Is Running Well For Him’: Camacho Finding The Right Balance Between Work, Family

Jockey Samy Camacho is all business at the racetrack, where he strives to reward his connections with the best rides available while pursuing a second consecutive Tampa Bay Downs jockeys title. But when he hangs up his tack for the day, Camacho transforms into a devoted family man, cherishing time spent with his wife, Kismar […]

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Sophomores J P’s Delight, Jackson Capture Tampa’s Florida Sire Stakes

Despite the relative inexperience of her 3-year-old filly J P’s Delight, trainer Kathleen O’Connell was confident tackling stakes competition in the $125,000 Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association City of Ocala Florida Sire Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday. “She just had to be comfortable, and I thought she had the perfect post (No. […]

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Papa Jim’s Kitchen Thankful For The Chance To Serve Tampa Backstretch Workers

As a Thoroughbred trainer from 1989-1997, Jim Tsirigotis gained an appreciation for the challenges faced by backstretch workers on the racetrack. “They work their butts off,” said Tsirigotis, the proprietor of Papa Jim’s Kitchen at the south end of the barn area at Tampa Bay Downs. “A lot of them are in the barn by […]

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‘Living My Dream’: Jockey Dean Butler Carries On At 48

Dean Butler doesn’t mind if you think he’s hard-headed for continuing to ride Thoroughbreds at 48. Basically, he agrees. “I’ve had nine concussions in my career. My head has taken a pretty good beating,” said Butler, who was born and grew up in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Butler was named to ride three horses today, but […]

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Maker’s 46 Mile: ‘Legit’ Qurbaan Prepares For Rematch With Heart To Heart

Roger Horgan, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, is not sure why Shadwell Stable decided to ship Qurbaan to the U.S. from Europe, but he is glad the move was made. “He’s a legit horse,” Horgan said of the entrant in Friday’s $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) before the 6-year-old jogged once around a muddy main […]

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Rotstein, Cameron Celebrate ‘Thrilling’ First Training Victories At Tampa

Tyler Rotstein was trying to keep his emotions under control after his 4-year-old gelding Togie won Saturday’s fifth race at Tampa Bay Downs, the 23-year-old trainer’s first career victory in only three tries. “It’s probably the most thrilling experience I’ve had in a long, long time,” said Rotstein, a former strong safety-linebacker for the Bluffton […]

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