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  • Belvoir Bay (7-1) takes them all the way in the Torrey Pines.Posted 2 days ago
  • Strike Charmer (27-1) runs by Lady Eli late in the Ballston Spa.Posted 3 days ago
  • Masochistic (1-5) sprints to an easy victory in the Pat O'Brien at Del Mar.Posted 3 days ago
  • Arrogate (11-1) wins the Travers for fun in stakes record time!Posted 3 days ago
  • Flintshire (1-5) rolls up the rail to win the Grade 1 Sword Dancer.Posted 3 days ago
  • A.P. Indian (1-1) easily wins the Grade 1 Forego in stakes record time of 1:20.99.Posted 3 days ago
  • Drefong (3-1) dominates the Grade 1 King's Bishop every step of the way.Posted 3 days ago
  • Haveyougoneaway (10-1) gets there with a strong late in the Grade 1 Ballerina.Posted 3 days ago
  • Cavorting (2-1) rolls late to get up in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign.Posted 3 days ago
  • Hit It Once More makes every pole a winning one in the Albany Stakes.Posted 4 days ago

Beyer: Stunning Declines at Tampa Bay Downs

At a time when much of the horse racing industry has been in decline, Tampa Bay Downs has been the sport’s shining success story. The Oldsmar, Fla., track attracted the attention of bettors from coast to coast by offering large, competitive fields with the potential for big payoffs, and its 2010-2011 winter season produced record results. Long regarded as a minor-league operation, Tampa averaged a stunning $4.57 million per day in wagers.

I have been a Tampa loyalist for years, and I was one of many horseplayers who eagerly anticipated the winter season that began in December. And I am one of many who have been disappointed and disillusioned about the decline of the track’s product. The fields aren’t as big. The races aren’t as competitive. The betting isn’t as interesting. Customers have responded accordingly. General manager Peter Berube said that wagering has dropped by about $500,000 a day – an abrupt reversal after years of growth.

The decline is by no means a mysterious phenomenon. Two crucial issues are involved. One is a factor that every handicapper confronts virtually every day. Another is a more corrosive problem that is going to affect most of the U.S. racing industry.
 
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