HRFla Staff Report
If you want to bet on this Friday’s Kentucky Oaks and/or this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, there will be opportunities at Florida’s major horse tracks.
Those tracks are Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Hialeah Park in Hialeah and Pompano Park in Pompano Beach.
But unlike in previous years, when there was no coronavirus pandemic, there will not be a party-like atmosphere at tracks that are simulcasting the Oaks, Derby and the other races at Churchill Downs.
Those races are traditionally run on the first weekend in May. Track management teams always plan promotions and giveaways, especially on Kentucky Derby day.
For many sports fans it is day for going to the local track, betting on the live races, betting on the Derby and watching on a TV monitor or a big screen –while having a mint julep or two.
Meanwhile, if you have an Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) account you can bet on the Kentucky Derby and almost any other U.S. thoroughbred race without going to a track.
Scheduled post for the Kentucky Oaks (Grade 1) at 1 1/8 miles for fillies is 5:45 p.m. Eastern on Friday.
Scheduled post for the Kentucky Oaks is 7:01 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.
Details are below on the Oaks/Derby simulcasting at the four Florida tracks.
At all four, simulcast patrons will be required to wear masks. Rules on social distancing and other COVID-19 restrictions also will apply.
Via a Google search, it is possible to find out which other pari-mutuels in Florida and other states will be simulcasting this weekend’s races from Churchill Downs–as well as Gulfstream, Saratoga and other major tracks.
Gulfstream currently has live racing, but on most days it allows no live spectators because of COVID-19 restrictions.
This Friday and Saturday, it will allow up to 30 patrons in the Silks simulcasting area on its ground floor.
On Friday and Saturday, Gulfstream also will lease out suites on its third floor.
Reservations can be made by calling Gulfstream at (954) 454-7000. Other details are on its Web site https://www.gulfstreampark.com/https://www.gulfstreampark.com/
Gulfstream management also points out that Stronach Group, its parent company, owns and operates the 1ST/BET ADW.
Information, including how to sign up, may be found on this Web site:
Tampa Bay Downs
Tampa Bay will not have live racing until late November.
It has been open for simulcasting, with COVID-19 restrictions, since early July.
This Friday and Saturday, the Oldsmar track’s grandstand and part of its outdoor area will be open with tellers and betting machines.
“We are expecting good-sized crowds,” said Margo Flynn, Tampa Bay Downs’s vice president for marketing. “But for lack of a better word it won’t be a ‘party’ kind of atmosphere like in other years.”
The Churchill stakes races will be shown on TV monitors and on the big screen in the infield.
Additional details, including food and beverage information, may be obtained by calling Tampa Bay Downs at (813) 855-4401 or on its Web site http://www.tampabaydowns.com/
Hialeah will reopen its simulcast area this Friday, with a Thursday through Sunday schedule for September.
Churchill Downs and Gulfstream are among tracks on its regular schedule.
Details may be found on Hialeah’s Web site https://hialeahparkcasino.com/
Pompano Park is open for simulcasting seven days a week.
Churchill and Gulfstream are part of the regular schedule.
Additional information may be found on the Pompano Park Web site https://www.islepompanopark.com/