Theresa had a business meeting at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday so we headed for Oldsmar about 10:00AM for a day enjoying the "Sport of Kings" at Tampa Bay Downs (TBD) TBD opened in 1926, it was called Tampa Downs when it first opened. For more information on the track's fascinating history click Tampa Bay Downs.
The track is beautifully manicured 1 mile oval with all of the horse racing amenities on site. TBD is a pari-mutuel facility, simply meaning betting and gambling are on site.
The meeting was in one of several party rooms available for rent. It had a great view of the track, pretty good food and there was a wagering agent in the room so if you desired to bet you did not have to go to a wagering window to bet or cash out.
Horse racing is an easy going event, first race about 12:30PM then 8 to 10 more races about 20 minutes apart. All of the pageantry you see on TV with the stakes races is present and you can get right up to track side and the winners circle.
Lots of horsepower, but really quiet. On Saturday 108 different horses were scheduled to run with 35 different Jockeys.
The staff was helpful, pleasant and knowledgeable. They also have a racing Program that gives the first time race goers great insight into the sport.
The track is about 40 minutes from downtown St. Pete in Oldsmar, on Racetrack Road, phone 813-855-4401, the racing program runs through May.
If you are looking for something different to do, check out the TBD web site, and go take a look at the "Sport of Kings" at the only thoroughbred track on the West Coast of Florida.