Once a humble, low-level track, Tampa Bay Downs now regularly makes important racing news. On Saturday trainer Todd Pletcher's undefeated colt Brethren runs in the $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes. Next month, Uncle Mo, the brilliant champion of his generation, starts his preparation for the 3-year-old classics in the Tampa Bay Derby, a race that has produced two of the past four Kentucky Derby winners.
Yet no racing day this season could be much more significant than the routine card of Dec. 29. These were the respective wagering totals on that date at Tampa and at one of the nation's legendary tracks:
Tampa Bay Downs $4,230,056
Santa Anita $4,038,175