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Review of Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs
Ranked #27 of 196 things to do in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2014

I really like Tampa Bay Downs because it reminds me of my favorite track in Shakopee Minnesota (where I used to live)! It's small but mighty! For me the most enjoyable time at the track is to make reservations for their fabulous buffet where you can eat, drink, place bets and watch the race from a beautiful vantage point.....high above the fray :-) I plan to go more often during the next season which I think if going on now! Don't forget to make reservations for brunch!!! ......and of course, win a few bets along the way, right?!!!!!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank hipsenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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250 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
50 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Fun afternoon”
Reviewed January 8, 2014 via mobile

We decided to try out a race track because the weather was pretty cool. We had lunch at the deli and our sandwiches where very good, fresh turkey cut up in front of us. We sat with a former race horse trainer that helped us to learn how to bet. It was a fun day watching the excitement of the races

Visited January 2014
Thank Sharon N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Harbor
Level Contributor
30 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Horses, Hold-Em, Handicaps !”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Now here is a place that is a three dimensional recreation and entertainment center for the family.

You have both dirt and grass live racing from early December to the first week in May as well as simulcast during live racing and in the off season..

On the third floor of the grandstand there is the Silks Room for the poker players who love to play Texas Hold-Em and test their nerves and the nerves of the their fellow table players.

At the South end of the Downs complex there is a first class golf practice facility complete with a covered driving area, putting , chipping , and sand trap practice areas. There is available pro instruction for a fee.

There is an outside tent and picnic area for families to enjoy at the North end of the facility and the kids can see the horses come into the paddock area .

Food and beverage service to fit all budgets is available throughout the facility and the Grandstand and the Clubhouse offers a good view of the races with a medium size viewing screen in the infield helping you to keep track of your favorite horse .

My favorite spot is the Legends Room on the second floor of the Grandstand where you can see the excellent tributes in pictures and words paid to the great horse, Seabiscuit, his owner Charles Howard, his jockey Red Pollard , and his trainer, Tom Smith. If you liked the book by Laura Hillenbrand , and the movie "Seabiscuit " you will enjoy a visit to this room and to hob nob with racing fans, trainers and owners and enjoy a libation from the bar

There is room for improvement in the transportation of fans from the South parking lot to the Clubhouse and Grandstand by providing more golf cart vehicles and Management needs to do a better job monitoring valet parking spaces. They are reserving too much parking space for this service to the detriment of racing fans who do not wish to spend $5.00 to park. I do commend Management for the free parking policy in all other areas.

Overall there is a lot more to like than to dislike at Tampa Bay Downs so I wish you well at the betting windows, at the card tables and in improving your handicap at the golf practice facility !

Visited January 2014
Thank Ralph R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
1,051 reviews
239 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 268 helpful votes
“Nice Way to Spend an Afternoon”
Reviewed November 24, 2013

This is a beautiful little horse racing track.Because of the decline of people attending the races they had to open poker rooms.Most days the grandstand is half empty,but it gets busier during the tourist season.During the month of March they have their biggest races and best horses.They get the New York crowd,who come to see the Yankees and some still remember when the Steinbrenner family owned the track.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank ChALUTCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
216 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Dumpy and Dirty”
Reviewed October 11, 2013

The Tampa Bay Downs Race Track could use some new management. The track just recently upgraded to flat screen televisions. They are way behind the curve. The poker room is comfortable and the food is decent. Service is usually good and they have an area for pari-mutuel gamblers. The grandstand is in need of updating. The place really shows its age. The clubhouse is not bad, but even that is dated and in need of freshening up. It seems like they are really tightening the purse strings and in doing so they might be choking off customers. Many of my friends now go to Derby Lane to play cards.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank gscar35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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