Horse Racing in Tampa
Tampa Horse Racing at Tampa Bay Downs
Visiting or vacationing in Tampa Bay offers a huge number of entertainment options, but even most residents of the area don’t know what fun Tampa horse racing can be. Tampa Bay Downs on Race Track Road makes the list of most overlooked Tampa Florida attractions. Going the track is fun way to spend a day anytime during the “season”, which is from January to the end of May.
Never been to the races before? It’s very much like what you have probably seen on movies and TV shows. Or at least the ones that don’t involve a shootout or car chase that crosses the track. The most surprising thing about Tampa horse racing might be the sheer numbers of people that go. This Saturday afternoon there were at least 400 cars in the lot outside the track. Apparently this is one of the most popular things to do in Tampa!
Part of the reason it’s so packed could be that it’s one of the most economical of Tampa attractions at just $2 to get in on weekends (free weekdays) with an extra dollar getting you club seats and only $5 valet parking. Once inside, you’re greeted with an real air of excitement and anticipation as people spread out from the entry door. Spring for the Club seats, they’re only $3.00!
Head for customer service and pick up a program which has the race schedule, horses running, purse sizes and a dizzying array of statistics. It also lists the parentage, recent wins and losses and the handy predictions of the top 3 or 4 winners for the race. Everyone is very patient with newcomers to the sport, so if you have any questions just walk up to one of the red vested people taking bets as ask.
Actually placing a bet is an important part of the experience. You can bet as little as one dollar, and you wouldn’t be alone doing so. There’s no limit to the number of bets you can make either, so if you like 5 out of 12 horses running you could bet on each one! The payouts for bets do vary widely. For example, if you bet on the favorite to win, the payout might be 4:5, which means if you bet $4 you would get $5 in return, bet on who wins the first second and third places will be and you might get 16:1 or more. However you bet, even laying down a dollar makes all the difference in how you enjoy the race!
The track isn’t the only center of attention at Tampa Downs though. There’s also a Poker Room on the property as well as a Golf Practice facility owned by the Downs close by.
View Larger Map