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Dec 10, 2010

Tampa Bay Derby gains purse boost


Oldsmar, FL (Sports Network) - Just five days before the start of its 2010-11 racing season, Tampa Bay Downs announced an increase to the purse of its premier stakes.

The Tampa Bay Derby for three-year-olds has received an additional $50,000 to bring its purse to $350,000. Just last week the 1 1/16-mile race was assigned Grade 2 status, the second highest designation for a stakes event.

"We've worked hard to make the stakes program here as competitive and exciting as possible," Racing Secretary Allison DeLuca said earlier, "and it is gratifying to see Tampa Bay Downs continue to become a major destination for the country's finest horses and horsemen. We're looking forward to another thrilling season."

In recent years, the Tampa Bay Derby has become an important prep for the Triple Crown races. In 2007 Street Sense won the race before capturing the Kentucky Derby. Last year's renewal was won by Musket Man, who went on to win the Illinois Derby and finish third in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

The most recent edition was won by Odysseus with eventual Run for the Roses winner Super Saver finishing third.

The 32nd Tampa Bay Derby will be held on Saturday, March 12.

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