Monthly Archives: July 2016

2015 Virginia-Bred Horse Of The Year Pulls Upset Saturday In Grade I Stakes at Del Mar

Kosta Hronis played a bit coy earlier in the week about Stellar Wind‘s chances in her second try against Beholder.

He gushed about the honor of being able to run against the three-time champion in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch (gr. I), but showed no interest in ducking her on their home turf. The owner also made sure to stress one point.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Hronis said. “We like our horse.”

Now everyone knows why.

Stellar Wind (outside) got revenge on Beholder in Saturday's Grade I Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar. Courtesy of Benoit Photo.

Stellar Wind (outside) got revenge on Beholder in Saturday’s Grade I Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar. Courtesy of Benoit Photo.

The two champions were head-and-head from the five-sixteenths pole to the final strides July 30 in the Hirsch at Del Mar, but Stellar Wind outdueled her rival to the wire to win by a half-length, ending an eight-race win streak for Beholder. Watch Video

Beholder stumbled slightly at the start under jockey Gary Stevens, but was still able to secure the lead with relative ease breaking from the inside post and set fractions of :23.63, :47.38, and 1:10.70 through six furlongs. Stellar Wind and jockey Victor Espinoza raced about a half-length off of the front-runner in the backstretch, made her move in the final turn, and put a head in front at the top of the stretch, but Beholder was not done.

The 10-time grade I winner dug in on the inside and retook the lead inside the eighth pole but could not put her younger rival away.

“At the three-furlong pole, I saw that shadow and I knew we might have a race,” Stevens said. “She hit another gear at the three-sixteenths pole, but (Stellar Wind) stayed right with us. I was surprised that she was staying with us. All credit to them. They were ready and they ran great.”

The 4-year-old daughter of Curlin    finished the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.24.

“The last time, she needed the race,” Espinoza said. “This time she was ready. This was exciting. I knew I was riding against a Hall of Fame jockey on top of the best mare in the country. … I had a lot of confidence in her today. When I came up alongside Gary, it was exciting.

“She’s a special filly. She showed it today.”

It was the first victory for Stellar Wind since the Torrey Pines (gr. III) at Del Mar last August. In between she ran hard-earned seconds in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I)—en route to champion 3-year-old filly honors—and to Beholder in the June 4 Vanity Mile (gr. I).

“You usually don’t get what you want on your birthday, but this year, I did,” said trainer John Sadler, who turned 60 Saturday. “She’s been training well. And if you think about it, she probably was the best in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. … She had a prep race that was a good race. Victor got off her and said ‘You know, I think we can beat (Beholder) next time.’

“I kept my mouth shut, because I didn’t want to look like an idiot, but we thought we had a chance.”

Despite the loss, Beholder’s trainer, Richard Mandella, was still happy with the 6-year-old Henny Hughes mare’s effort.

“It was a good race for my horse,” Mandella said. “That other mare ran a hell of a race.”

Third-place finisher Divina Comedia, 9 3/4 lengths behind the top pair, was another 11 1/4 lengths clear of Off the Road and The Dream.

“I was riding hard, but I was watching what was going on up front,” said Divina Comedia’s jockey, Joe Talamo. “No shame for my mare to run third to those two.”

Off as the 9-2 second choice, behind Beholder at 1-9, Stellar Wind paid $11, $2.20, and $2.10 across the board. Beholder brought $2.10 to both place and show, and Divina Comedia delivered $2.60 to show. Del Mar and other wagering interests lost $195,174.12 on a negative show pool and $34,260.23 on a negative place pool.

Hronis said late Saturday night that Stellar Wind would point to the Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park instead of opting to try males in the Pacific Classic (gr. I). He also said the Hirsch victory tops any other win for Hronis Racing to date.

Stellar Wind was purchased privately by Hronis after her maiden-breaking win at Laurel Park late in 2014. Bred in Virginia by Keswick Stables and Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, out of the Malibu Moon   mare Evening Star, she has a 6-2-1 record from 10 starts, two grade I victories, and  $1,173,200 in earnings.

“Both ran too good to lose,” Hronis said of the Hirsch. “It was good for the industry and good for the sport. That’s why we race.”


(Reprinted from

Weekend Stakes Preview For July 30-31; 3 Virginia-Bred/Owned Horses Will Compete In Stakes

Nyquist vs. Exaggerated and Beholder vs. Virginia-bred Stellar Wind. Four of the biggest names in horse racing will compete in two of the biggest stakes races of the weekend — the $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational (Monmouth) and $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes (Del Mar), both Grade I events. And, two more horses with Virginia ties — Rapid Rhythm and Disco Barbie — are entered into weekend stakes. If you don’t have an on line betting account yet to wager the action, you can still get one with Virginia Equine Alliance partners, and Here’s your go-to preview.

Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Grade I $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.   ©Benoit Photo

Hronis Racing’s Stellar Wind and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Grade I $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.
©Benoit Photo


Stellar Wind, 2015 Virginia-bred Horse of the Year, will face powerful Beholder Saturday in Del Mar’s 8th race, scheduled to go off at 8:33 PM EDT. The 4 year old daughter of Curlin will try to become the latest Virginia-bred million dollar earning horse. She enters the stakes with a lifetime bankroll of $993,200 from just 9 starts. In her only ’16 outing, she was runner-up to Beholder in Santa Anita’s Vanity Stakes. Stellar Wind, who was bred by Keswick Stables and Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, is out of the Malibu Moon mare, Evening Star. Victor Espinoza will ride for trainer John Sadler.

Virginia-bred Rapid Rhythm will compete in Sunday’s $150,000 Royal North Stakes (Gr. 3) at Woodbine while Virginia-owned Disco Barbie has entered the $100,000 Caress Stakes at Saratoga the same day. The former is a 4 year old by Successful Appeal out of Patriot Miss by Quiet American and was bred by the Lazy Lane Farms. The latter is a Kentucky bred that is trained by Gary Capuano and is owned by Virginian Diane Manning. The Woodbine stakes is the 8th race on that card and the Caress is the 10th at Saratoga.

Exaggerator takes on Nyquist in Sunday's $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational. Photo by Anne Eberhardt.

Exaggerator takes on Nyquist in Sunday’s $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational. Photo by Anne Eberhardt.

Sunday’s highly anticipated $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational (Gr. I) at Monmouth pits Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist against Preakness winner Exaggerated. Four other graded stakes are on tap at Monmouth that day in their biggest program of the year. The Haskell is the 12th race and goes off at 5:47 PM.

Saratoga has a powerhouse card Saturday that includes the $500,000 Alfred Vanderbilt Handicap (Gr. I), $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (Gr. 2), $250,000 Bowling Green Handicap (Gr. 2) and $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes (Gr. 2). The Vanderbilt has been carded as Race 9 at 5:40 PM and the Jim Dandy follows as Race 10 at 6:18 PM.

For harness fans, Saturday’s focus is at The Meadows just outside of Pittsburgh, where a 17 race card is highlighted by the $500,000 Adios, a  3 Year Old Open Pace which is scheduled as Race 12 (3:40 PM). Post time is 12 Noon.

Watch. Wager. Win!

Virginia-Bred & Owned Horses Thrive In Weekend Stakes Action

Two of the three Virginia-bred stakes winners from the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Day racing event at Pimlico June 25th returned to action this past weekend and got a first and second place finish. Queen Caroline, who captured the $60,000 Nellie Mae Cox Stakes that day, won the $100,000 TaWee Stakes at Indiana Grand July 20th while 9-year-old Two Notch Road, winner of the $60,000 White Oak Farm Stakes a month ago, finished second in a $47,000 allowance optional claimer July 24 at Laurel.


Queen Caroline, bred by Morgan's Ford Farm, won the $100,000 TaWee Stakes July 20. Photo courtesy of Indiana Grand.

Queen Caroline, bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, won the $100,000 TaWee Stakes July 20. Photo courtesy of Indiana Grand.

Queen Caroline, bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, raced inside early from mid pack but stayed within three lengths of the leader through the quarter and half markers and of the one mile stakes. She took the lead for good at the top of the stretch and won by three-quarters of a length in 1:37.76. Queen Caroline is a 3 year old daughter of Blame out of Queens Plaza by Forestry. She now has three wins and a pair of seconds from five starts this year, good for $136,684 in purse earnings. The TaWee winner is owned by Virginian Amy Moore, trained by Michael Matz and was ridden by Alex Cintron.

Two Notch Road wins his second straight Virginia-bred stakes race at Pimlico.

Two Notch Road wins his second straight Virginia-bred stakes race at Pimlico June 25. Photo by Jim McCue.

Two Notch Road’s runner-up effort at Laurel pushed his lifetime bankroll to the $405,403 level. The Glenn Thompson trainee was making his 31st career start and collected his 13th “in the money” finish. Bred by James Hackman, he is by Partner’s Hero out of Capiana by Capote.

Rose Brier, winner of the third Virginia-bred stakes at that June 25th Pimlico event — the $60,000 Edward Evans Stakes — has not started since.

A Virginia owned horse also reached the winner’s circle July 20th in the $60,000 Lamplighter Stakes at Monmouth. Franklin Towers, owned and bred by Clarke Ohrstrom, went gate to wire and beat 4-5  betting choice Noble Quality by a neck in the 1 1/16th miles event. Jockey Nik Juarez guided the upset effort atop the 3 year old son of City Zip, who paid $42.20 to his backers. Bred in Kentucky, Franklin Towers is out of the Engrillado mare, Leioa. He captured a maiden special weight race at Monmouth June 10th and has earned nearly $70,000 in 2016. Ohrstrom, who owns a 1,700 acre farm in Fauquier County, earned his 29th career victory as an owner.

Long On Value won the $100,000 Lucky Coin Stakes at Saratoga July 25. Photo by Coglianese Photography.

Long On Value won the $100,000 Lucky Coin Stakes at Saratoga July 25. Photo by Coglianese Photography.

To top off a successful weekend stretch, Virginia-bred Long On Value connected in the $100,000 Lucky Coin Stakes Monday (July 25) at Saratoga. The 5 year old son of Orientate was bred by the Snow Lantern Thoroughbreds and is trained by Bill Mott. Read more about the big win in a separate piece on and

Trio Of Virginia-Bred Horse Owners Collect A 25% Bonus For Weekend Wins

Three owners of Virginia-bred horses collected a 25% bonus in addition to their purse earnings this past weekend courtesy of a new HBPA/VTA bonus incentive program, which is still in its first month. Respective wins by Service for Ten, Lime House Louie and Money Tree gave owners Mark Lapidus, LLC, the Wildcard Stables and Stoneybrook Thoroughbreds Inc. the extra bonus.

Service for Ten captured a $45,000 allowance optional claiming race Sunday at Laurel with a last to first second half. The 7 year old Service Stripe gelding, bred by Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Cox, competed against six others at the six furlong distance. The upset winner was last at the quarter and half, swung to the five path entering the stretch, closed from the outside and after gaining the lead with 1/16th to go, crossed four lengths ahead of Struth in 1:10.65. Out of the Wild Zone mare, Tenacious Cheryl, Service for Ten paid $25.60. After going more than two years without a win, he has won two straight and now has bankrolled $416,645 in his career.

Service for Ten's lifetime bankroll soared over the $400,000 mark thanks to an allowance win July 24th at Laurel. Photo by Jim McCue.

Service for Ten’s lifetime bankroll soared over the $400,000 mark thanks to an allowance win July 24th at Laurel. Photo by Jim McCue.

Lime House Louie got a win in his first lifetime start in a maiden special weight, 4 1/2 furlong race Saturday at Charles Town. The Limehouse colt, bred by Carlos S.E. Moore and Gillian Gordon-Moore, hustled early and pressed the pace in the field of nine. He got to the lead at the top of the stretch and won by 1 1/4 lengths over Runnin’toluvya in :53.71. The Flint Stites trainee was guided by jockey Katie Crews and is out of the Housebuster mare, Mystic Bay.

Money Tree, bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, also competed in a field of nine like Lime House Louie, but had a trip more similar to Service for Ten’s. The 6 year old Lawyer Ron gelding was seventh early on in the $14,800, 5 1/2 furlong sprint, and was forced to use the six path entering the stretch. He moved methodically from that point and crossed in 1:04.30, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Next Right. Money Tree is out of So Generous by Fly So Free, and was making his 35th career start. He paid $24.00 to win and earned his first win of 2016 from seven starts.

David Lermond Appointed To Virginia Racing Commission Executive Secretary Position


(RICHMOND, VA—7/22/16)—-The Virginia Racing Commission (VRC) announced today that it has appointed Dave Lermond to serve as its Executive Secretary, effective June 25th.

Lermond had been the Acting Executive Secretary since early March, when former Executive Secretary Bernard Hettel stepped down from that position. Lermond had previously been the VRC’s Deputy Executive Secretary and Fiscal Officer since 2008 and currently serves on the Model Rules Committee for the Association of Racing Commissioners International. He has also served as the Presiding Steward at both the Virginia Gold Cup and International Gold Cup racing events at Great Meadow Race Course, has been a steward at past Colonial Downs Thoroughbred race meets, and has been a judge for harness racing at past Colonial Downs and Oak Ridge meets.  Prior to his Commission job, Lermond was the Director of Simulcasting at Delaware Park for 10 years.

Commission Chairman D.G. Van Clief stated, “We engaged in a national search and were impressed with the large number of highly qualified candidates who indicated an interest in the position. Ultimately we gravitated to applicants with experience in the horse racing industry and unanimously agreed that our acting Executive Secretary was the logical choice. We are delighted at Dave’s enthusiasm for continuing in this role and feel fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and experienced Executive Secretary. On behalf of the entire Commission, we look forward to working with Dave for many years to come.”

“I am truly honored to have been chosen for this position and extremely grateful to all of the various stakeholder groups as well as the individual horsemen and fellow regulators that showed their support for me during the search process,” said Lermond. “In addition to ensuring the integrity of racing and pari-mutuel wagering in Virginia, the Commission is also charged with growing and promoting the horse racing industry. The Virginia General Assembly has given us the opportunity to revitalize horse racing through the formation of a nonprofit industry stakeholder organization which represents both breeds of horses called the Virginia Equine Alliance,” he added. “I look forward to working closely with the Alliance in the future as I believe the Virginia Racing Commission is just as much of a stakeholder as the horsemen or breeders organizations. I am certain that if all of us work together as a team, we’ll be able to rebuild the industry that we all care so deeply about.”

Virginia-Bred Winner Pays $148.60 In Upset Monday At Mountaineer

Virginia-bred horses Ghost Is Fine and Explore each won a claiming race at Mountaineer Park Monday night, each got the winner’s share of identical $6,300 purses, and each earned a 25% bonus for their respective owners as part of the new HPBA/VTA Virginia-bred owner’s bonus program.

There were two differences though — the distance raced and the return on investment. Ghost Is Fine won at the six furlong distance while Explore connected at one mile — a relatively minor difference. The $2 win payouts however turned out to be a major difference. Ghost Is Fine was sent off at 73-1 and returned a whopping $148.60 while Explore was the betting choice and paid a modest $4.40.

Ghost Is Fine, sent off at 73-1 Monday at Mountaineer, came from behind to win by a half length. Photo by Coady Photography.

Ghost Is Fine, sent off at 73-1 Monday at Mountaineer, came from behind to win by a half length. Photo by Coady Photography.

Ghost Is Fine is a 6 year old Ghostzapper horse that was bred by Althea Richards & Adena Springs. He started in a field of 9 and was fifth at the half, 11 1/2 lengths behind the leader. The eventual winner surged six wide in the turn, made it to fourth at the top of the stretch, kept pressing, and beat C The Judge by one-half length in 1:14.10. Ghost Is Fine is out of Finery by Lear Fan, and got his third career triumph in upset fashion.

Explore on the other hand, stalked the pace early in his race, trailed by only two at the half, took over at three-quarters and won by five lengths in 1:40.57. The 5 year old, by Stroll out of Elsie Jay by Giant’s Causeway, was sent off at odds 1.20-1. Bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone, he won for the first time in six starts this year and now has a career bankroll of $82,493.

Explore earned his 4th career win Monday at Mountaineer and was sent off as the betting favorite. Photo by Coady Photography.

Explore earned his 4th career win Monday at Mountaineer and was sent off as the betting favorite. Photo by Coady Photography.

The owners of both will receive a 25% bonus on top of their purse earnings for winning with a Virginia-bred horse in the Mid-Atlantic region. Ghost Is Fine is owned by Harry Pease, who also trains and Explore is owned by LVR Stable, Inc.

Highly Regarded Sticksstatelydude Earns 2nd Career Victory

Highly regarded Sticksstatelydude, who won honors as top Virginia-Bred 2 Year Old Colt in 2015, captured his second career victory this past weekend in a $77,000 allowance race at Belmont.
Sticksstatelydude wins a $77,000 allowance race July 15 at Belmont. Photo by Pack Pride Racing.

Sticksstatelydude wins a $77,000 allowance race July 15 at Belmont. Photo by Pack Pride Racing.

 The First Dude colt stumbled at the start but recovered quick enough to still go gate to wire in winning the one mile race by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:34.04. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Joel Rosario, Sticksstatelydude has now earned $138,400 from just five starts.
After finishing 4th in the Grade I Claiborne Breeders Futurity October 3rd at Keeneland, he had to pass on the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile due to an injury. In his first start back from the layoff June 19th, Sticksstatelydude finished second in a Churchill Downs allowance and followed that with this triumph. Out of the Gilded Time mare, Placerita, he was bred by Canyon Lake Thoroughbreds.
Sticksstatelydude shown in the Belmont paddock area before his race July 15. Photo by Pack Pride Racing.

Sticksstatelydude shown in the Belmont paddock area before his race July 15. Photo by Pack Pride Racing.

His ownership group which includes Pack Pride Racing (who provided the photo), also earned a 25% bonus as part of the new Virginia-bred owners bonus program which began July 1st.

Alert From Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services


~ Disease has a 80 to 90 percent mortality so prevention is key ~

 The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced the second case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a Virginia horse this year. The horse, a thoroughbred, was from Suffolk. The horse had been vaccinated and is recovering. Without vaccination the mortality rate is 80 to 90 percent.

VDACS received confirmation of the diagnosis from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa on July 8. Virginia also has had one other case of EEE this year, also from Suffolk. In this part of the state veterinarians usually recommend a six-month vaccination interval.

“One of the reasons most veterinarians recommend a six-month vaccination schedule in Tidewater Virginia is because of the prevalence of mosquitos in the area,” said Dr. Charles Broaddus, State Veterinarian. He explained that EEE, a mosquito-borne illness, causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord and is also called “sleeping sickness.” Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear.

 Last year Virginia had three reported cases of EEE, one from Suffolk and two from Chesapeake. The disease has a high mortality rate, so prevention is a key part of equine health. Vaccination and mosquito control/ avoidance are the central elements of prevention. Available vaccines are generally effective in drastically reducing the incidence of both EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV) in horses.

For the vaccine to be effective it must be handled and administered properly and be given at least two weeks before the horse is exposed to the virus. Additionally, to stimulate full immunity, horses must be vaccinated twice, about 30 days apart, the first year of vaccination. The vaccines are effective for six to 12 months, so horses should be revaccinated at least annually. In addition to vaccination, horse owners should avoid mosquito infested areas and take measures to reduce the local mosquito population to minimize the chances of mosquitos biting people and their horses.

For more information, horse owners should contact VDACS’ Office of the State Veterinarian at 804.692.0601 or consult their local veterinarian.

Progress Update on Harness Racing At Shenandoah Downs; Meet Details Announced

Pari-mutuel harness racing will return to Virginia this fall and make its debut at Shenandoah Downs in Woodstock over five straight weekends beginning September 10th, pending final approval from the Virginia Racing Commission.  The meet, presented by the Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) and Virginia Harness Horsemen’s Association (VHHA), will continue every Saturday and Sunday afternoon through October 9th.

Non-wagering fair races have been held at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds for 98 years, and the 99th edition will take place this year from August 31st – September 3rd then transition into the new meet the following weekend. Pari-mutuel harness racing had been held at Colonial Downs in New Kent from 1998-2014, and at the Oak Ridge Estate in Nelson County last year over back-to-back weekends in October.

Progress continues on a $700,000 track renovation project in Woodstock, VA. Racing at Shenandoah Downs is slated to begin September 10, pending approval from the Virginia Racing Commission

Progress continues on a $700,000 track renovation project in Woodstock, VA. Racing at Shenandoah Downs is slated to begin September 10, pending approval from the Virginia Racing Commission

The VEA and VHHA worked together with the Shenandoah County Fair Association to come up with a long term plan and future for  standardbred racing in Virginia and as a result, a 20 year lease was signed with the Association and an extensive track renovation project is nearing completion. The $700,000 upgrade included widening the half mile oval, banking the turns, and relocating what had been a permanent concert stage and tractor pull strip. In past years during Fair races, only four or five horses could start behind the gate due to the limited track width. Come September, eight horses will be able to start behind the starting gate and compete over a first class surface.

Track superintendent J.D. Thomas said 44,000 cubic yards of earth have been moved since the project began and the width of the oval has been increased from 48 feet to 65 feet. The biggest obstacle though has been the weather. “We had equipment on the ground for three weeks before we could even start,” said the Thomas, who used to oversee both the dirt and turf surfaces at Colonial Downs. “We missed 22 days of work on the track due to the wet spring, so we’re cutting this project pretty close. I’m confident though we’ll get it completed on schedule and ready for both the Fair and pari-mutuel races.”

Harness racing took place at the Oak Ridge Estate in Nelson County last year.

Harness racing took place at the Oak Ridge Estate in Nelson County last year.

Mike Wandishin has been named Racing Secretary and is currently recruiting trainers and stables to race, and is putting together a condition sheet for the meet. “I’m looking forward to launching a new venture,” said Wandishin. “I’ve worked in Virginia before and have always enjoyed it. It’s refreshing to see the enthusiasm behind a harness racing project where the focus is going to be on attracting new fans to the sport”. Wandishin is currently finishing up a stint at Bluegrass Downs in Paducah, Kentucky.

Dr. Scott Woogen, President of the Virginia Harness Horsemen’s Association, commented on the transition of harness racing from Colonial Downs to Shenandoah Downs. “As a non-profit group, the VEA is in a unique position to move racing forward. All the money generated from live racing, Off Track Betting and Advance Deposit Wagering will be used to create racing opportunities and to promote the sport,” said Woogen, who is an active participant in the Billings Amateur Driving Series. “Colonial Downs was convenient and beautiful, but it was not meant for live harness racing. The track was too big and spectators were too far away from the horses. At Shenandoah, fans will be able to see the horses up close, plus the track goes back to the county fair roots of racing. There is significant enthusiasm about this meet from everyone involved.”

The half mile oval at Shenandoah Downs has been widened to 65 feet across from 48 feet.

The half mile oval at Shenandoah Downs has been widened to 65 feet across from 48 feet.

Tom Eshelman, GM of the Shenandoah County Fair Association, has put together a slate of events at the Fairgrounds to complement the fall weekend races and expose those attendees to the harness product. “We’ve got food and beverage themed festivals planned almost every weekend, where the focus will be on aspects like seafood, chili, craft beer, wine and food trucks., We’ll offer race goers an added value to their day too.”

For horsemen interested in competing at Shenandoah Downs, stall applications are due by August 8th and are available at and at Up to 150 stalls will be available for horsemen wishing to stable on the grounds. For more information, horsemen can call Mike Wandishin at 302-509-1861.

Woodstock, Virginia is located off I-81 at Exit 283, approximately 40 miles north of Harrisonburg and 31 miles south of Winchester. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants directly off the exit and adjacent to the Fairgrounds. The website has more information

On Line Betting Handle In Virginia Continues Upward Trend In June

On line betting handle in Virginia continued a recent upward trend during the month of June as the three licensed Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) companies combined to handle 6% more than they did in June, 2015.

TVG, which has consistently led the way in handle figures every month since Colonial Downs’ EZ Horseplay went out of business last April, handled $3,014,242 in June wagers. Twin Spires was next with $2,689,609 and XPressBet was third with $1,290,034. The trio combined to handle $6,973,866 for the month, second best total of 2016. The month of May traditionally is the biggest handle generating month on the calendar since both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness are held during that time.

The June tally is especially encouraging considering there was no Triple Crown hopeful in this year’s Belmont Stakes, which was held June 11th. Last year, American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed, who completed the sweep in 1978.

Year to date total handle from the three ADW companies is $40,844,944. Individually, TVG is up 9.4% ($18,420,188 vs. $16,835,408), Twin Spires is up 9% ($15,009,443 vs. $13,761,883) and XPressBet is up 21% ($7,415,312 vs. $8,128,503).

July’s stakes lineup is especially encouraging, so the trend could continue. The Saratoga meet opens July 22nd and they have only one dark day between the opener and the end of the month — Tuesday July 26th. The “Spa” will host a trio of Grade I stakes to close out the month — the Diana on July 23rd, the Coaching Club American Oaks on July 24th and the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on July 30th. Del Mar kicks off their annual summer stand July 15th and will host the Grade I Clement Hirsch Stakes July 30th. And the best news of all comes from Monmouth where Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist will compete in their Grade I Haskell Invitational July 31st.

Virginia residents can wager all the action by opening an account at, or at