Monthly Archives: July 2009

COLONIAL OFF-TRACK HANDLE PLUMMETS

According to the Daily Racing Form, Colonial Downs and others, the average daily handle on the 40 live race cards at Colonial Downs plummeted more than 30 percent compared with last year.

Average handle was $780,365 a day during the meet, compared with $1,118,734 during last year’s 45-day meet, according to the track’s figures. The decline was almost exclusively tied to a 35 percent drop in handle from off-site sources, where handle fell from $960,834 a day last year to… Continue reading

VA-BRED CHARITABLE MAN TOPS JIM DANDY

Peter Pan Stakes (G2) winner Charitable Man, who has not raced since finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes Gr.I on June 6, returns in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. Charitable Man, by Lemon Drop Kid out of Charitabledonation by Saint Ballado, was bred in Virginia by Edward P. Evans.

The field of seven three-year-olds includes the top three finishers from the Dwyer Stakes Gr.II at Belmont Park on July 4 as well as… Continue reading

QUALITY ROAD UPDATE

Edward P. Evan’s Quality Road signaled his readiness for Monday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Amsterdam this morning with a five-furlong work in 59.38 on the main track.

Jockey John Velazquez was aboard for the move, the fastest of 32 at the distance.

The 3-year-old son of Elusive Quality continues to show no signs of the foot problems that kept him out of the Kentucky Derby following his record-setting victory in the Grade 1 Florida Derby for former trainer James Jerkens.

Pletcher… Continue reading

TOP OF THE ICEBERG NOT MELTING…YET

With wagering declines and economic woes permeating the sport of Thoroughbred racing, the folks at NYRA were, no doubt, braced for more bad news when Saratoga officially opened yesterday. To add to their apprehension the weather forecast called for rain…


We imagine they were ultimately both surprised and delighted by the crowd of 25,444 and weather that saw sunshine for the first four races.

The crowd of 25,444 that helped track announcer Tom Durkin start the meet with the now… Continue reading

CALIFORNIA BREAKDOWNS AND TRACK SURFACE UNIFORMITY

There have been six catastrophic breakdowns at Del Mar in the pre-meet training and first six days of live racing. Three occurred during morning training on Polytrack, two happened during races on Polytrack, and one was in a turf race. The fatalities came from six different barns.

Dr. Rick Arthur, the equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board, said while there are not yet studies to scientifically prove it, breakdowns will often cluster at the beginning of a… Continue reading

PICTURE OF THE DAY

HASKELL PREP. Rachel Alexandra gallop on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga in preperation for this weekend’s Haskell at Monmouth Park.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

JAMES MARVIN. Gold Trippi (by Trippi, out of Christmas Gold by Slew o’ Gold FL) with Cornelio Velasquez aboard, left, passes Pyro with John Velazquez aboard to win the $75,000 James Marvin Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY, Wednesday, July 29, 2009.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

GRADUATION. In this photo provided by Benoit Photo, Wolf Tail (by Strive Out, out of Bright Sunday by Dynaformer CA) and jockey Joel Rosario, outside, hold off Grace Upon Grace with jockey Victor Espinoza, inside, to win the $100,000 Graduation Stakes, Wednesday, July 29, 2009, at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif.

“SARATOGA OF THE NORTH” OPENS TODAY

Every now and then that “Saratoga of the South” moniker raises its ugly head during a conversation about Colonial Downs. I call it ugly because ever since Joe DeFrancis mentioned those words, back in the mid-1990s before a single application had been filed, it seems the notion has caused controversy and frequently held a negative connotation for some horsemen and breeders.

His point was simply to create at Colonial Downs (as he envisioned it) a summer stop on a… Continue reading

100% BONUS UPDATE

According to our records, 552 Va-breds ran during the Colonial Downs’ meet as opposed to 613 last year. This year’s met was five days shorter. When comparing “apples to apples” through 40 days of 2008, 503 Virginia-breds ran during the same time period.

This year the 100% winner’s bonus paid out $447,270 to 62 winners. Without the $10,000 per race cap, the Fund would have paid out $497,370. The average award was $7,214. Had we not had the… Continue reading