Monthly Archives: March 2018

Catholic Boy Gives Up-And-Comer Jonathan Thomas ‘Monster Opportunity’ In Florida Derby

Jonathan Thomas will step onto Thoroughbred racing’s center stage Saturday when he saddles Catholic Boy for a start in the $1-million Florida Derby (G1). Although the 37-year-old trainer may be regarded by many as a newcomer to the big time, it should be noted that he grew up among the Sport of Kings’ elite.

The son of parents who were career horsemen, Thomas called the Rokeby Farm in Upperville, Va. – owned by the late philanthropist and Thoroughbred owner… Continue reading

Catholic Boy Geared Up For Saturday’s Florida Derby

The following appeared in Florida Today and was written by Terry Conway. Catholic Boy is in Saturday’s Florida Derby and is one of the favorites. He is trained by Jonathan Thomas, son of the Virginia Equine Alliance’s Track Superintendent J.D. Thomas.   

Being a top assistant to one of the world’s foremost thoroughbred trainers brought a young horseman in daily contact with some of the sport’s biggest stars.

Jonathan Thomas travelled the country executing a master game plan… Continue reading

Debbie Easter Op/Ed Piece From March 28th Richmond Times Dispatch

The following appeared on the Opinion page of the March 28th Richmond Times Dispatch. It is titled, “Horse Racing Is Coming Home To Virginia”

Forty-five years ago, one of the greatest achievements in American sports occurred. Secretariat, from Caroline County, won horse racing’s elusive “Triple Crown.” It was an achievement so legendary that the Virginia horse appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, and Time magazines. In 1999, when ESPN ranked the top 50 athletes of the 20th century,… Continue reading

Equine Transportation Law Presentation To Be Featured At This Weekend’s Virginia Horse Festival at The Meadow

VHC Equine Education Seminar Series Flyer

     In light of all the confusion that surrounds the new regulations in respect to the transportation of horses, a representative from the US DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be giving informational presentations on the new ELD Mandate and CDL requirements during the 2018 Virginia Horse Festival.  The presentations will take place on Friday, March 23 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. and, again from 2:00… Continue reading

Help Needed To Bring Historic Racing To Virginia & Thoroughbred Racing Back To Colonial Downs

Dear Horseman:

You may have heard a news report in Eastern Virginia about efforts by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe to venture into gaming in the state. We are aware of this information and are monitoring developments. Our single focus right now is finalizing the approval of Historic Horse Racing (HHR) legislation passed overwhelmingly by the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate. If the Governor signs HB 1609, Colonial Downs will be purchased, and Thoroughbred racing will return to the New… Continue reading

Saying Virginia Should Be ‘Open Minded’ On Casinos, Virginia’s Governor Signals Support For Plan To Reopen Colonial Downs

The following appeared in the March 13th Richmond Times Dispatch and was written by Graham Moomaw.

As he reviews legislation aimed at reopening the Colonial Downs track with a new way to bet on horse racing, Gov. Ralph Northam says he has no major misgivings with the proposal and thinks Virginia should be “open-minded” to the possibility of casino-style gambling.

“If this is an opening to more casino gambling in Virginia, that’s something we’re going to have to discuss with… Continue reading

Virginia Stands Out Among Smaller Statebred Programs

The following piece is great new for Virginia breeding industry. It appeared in The Daily Racing Form March 13th and was written by Joe Nevills.

Virginia’s racing and breeding programs sit on opposite ends of the spectrum.

On one side, the Virginia-bred banner has flown proudly over champion Stellar Wind, who became an Eclipse Award winner on the track and topped last year’s Keeneland November breeding stock sale with a $6 million price tag. On the other, the state has… Continue reading

Virginia OTBs Gear Up For “March Madness” & The Kentucky Derby

With four Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers up and running in Virginia, things are really heating up as Kentucky Derby Day approaches on Saturday May 5th. The Richmond OTBs will offer Derby wagering for the second straight year while the OTBs in Chesapeake and Henry County (Collinsville) will offer Derby betting for the first time in five years.

A series of key Derby prep races continues every weekend through April 14th. One million… Continue reading

2018 Virginia Horse Racing Betting Handle Is On Upswing

Over $16 million in horse race wagering handle was generated in Virginia over the first two months of 2018. A trio of Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers and four partner account wagering companies combined to produce that figure.

Of the OTBs, the Chesapeake site at Buckets Bar & Grill in the Great Bridge neighborhood handled the most with $1,837,817. The Breakers OTB in Richmond’s west end handled $1,526,503 and the downtown… Continue reading

Catholic Boy On To The Florida Derby March 31st

Catholic Boy is a 3 year old that is on the 2018 Triple Crown trail. He is trained by Jonathan Thomas, son of Virginia Equine Alliance’s track superintendent, John Dale Thomas.   

Robert LaPenta and Madaket Stables’ GIII Sam F. Davis S. runner-up Catholic Boy (More Than Ready) will make his next start in the Mar. 31 GI Florida Derby, according to LaPenta’s racing manage John Panagot. This story was originally reported by the Daily Racing Form… Continue reading