Monthly Archives: February 2020

Visits To Certified Farms In The Eastern Part Of Virginia

Registered farms and training centers in the Virginia Certified Residency program are located all over the state, in points north, south, east and west.

Donna Mallory is the farm manager at CRE Run Enterprises in Doswell.

The concept of the bonus program is straightforward — any horse that is conceived and foaled outside Virginia but maintains residency in the Commonwealth for a six consecutive month time frame (at a registered farm) prior to December 31 of its two-year-old year, will be eligible for bonus monies when they begin racing and win at a track located in any of the seven Mid-Atlantic states.

Three young Certtified thoroughbreds enjoy time at CRE, which is currently home to a mostly Arabian horses.

A recent trip east to check out several of the registered farms began in Doswell at CRE Run Enterprises on Campbell Lake Road. Long time farm manager Donna Mallory said 68 horses currently reside at the 280 acre property but most are Arabians. She does have three young thoroughbreds on site, all of which are in the Residency program — a 2019 Steady N Love colt along with Epic Luck and Epic Starter.

CRE Run Farm is within several miles of Ashland based Horseshoe Hill and Eagle Point Farms.

Mallory has seen changes at CRE in her 27 years. At one time, they had 168 Arabians on the grounds but since Delaware Park is the only east coast track that hosts those races, they are beginning to shift focus towards housing thoroughbreds given the success of the Virginia residency initiative. Other states that host Arabian races include Texas, California and Colorado.

Margie Streiter is pictured at her North River Stables near Gloucester.

Farther east, Margie Streiter has ten horses on her property in North, Virginia, located between Gloucester and Matthews. She currently houses seven Certified horses, all of which are Maryland-breds. Colts Oleg The Mongol, Valenburg, Almost and Mr. Cowboy Brady are joined by fillies Carole Claudet, Loves Little Lady and My Sister Clurrie.

Three Virginia-Certified fillies enjoy time at North River Stables.

Margie’s property is in the North End Estates, a low key neighborhood which is accessed by a dirt road off Route 14. In addition to the Certified horses, she has two broodmares and her daughter’s horse.

Kim Birdsall keeps Our Sweet Pea occupied at Windfall Farm in Onancock.

Onancock, Virginia is located in the Eastern Shore, between Cape Charles and Chincoteague, 50-acre Windfall Farm, temporary home to two Certified horses, is based there. A pair of 2018 fillies — New York-bred Our Sweet Pea and Pennsylvania-bred Our Strong Vows enjoy days playing with their 9-year-old companion horse.

Windfall Farm is located between Cape Charles and Chincoteague.

Windfall is partially on the waterfront and has a mix of other animals there including cattle. Kim Birdsall, a friend of owner Christine Applegate, was tending to the horses on a recent visit. They, along with CRE Run and North River Stables, are accepting horses in the residency program. Contact information on these three and all farms/training centers around the Commonwealth can be found at

Standardbred Antares Star is shown with her companion hosre near the carnival grounds in Chincoteague.

The Virginia Harness Horse Association also has a new Certified program that is in its infancy. Antares Star, one of the newest program participants, is based in Chincoteague with his owner Rob White. The Maryland-bred is based at a paddock next to the carnival grounds, which plays host to the annual pony swim in July.

Harness horse owner, trainer and breeder Rob White is shown with Antares Star.

White hopes Antares Star will be competing at Shenandoah Downs in Woodstock in the near future.

Virginia-Sired Mr. Buff Reaches Millionaire Status In Haynesfield Stakes

Congratulations to Virginia-Sired Mr. Buff who reached millionaire status February 22 when he captured his third straight stakes race at Aqueduct. Prior to winning the Haynesfield Stakes, he prevailed in the Jazil and Alex M. Robb Stakes. Mr. Buff is by Friend of Foe, who stands at Smallwood Farm in Crozet. The 6-year-old gelding, a New York-bred owned by Chester and Mary Broman, has earned $1,051,536 from 36 starts. He has 14 wins, six runner-ups and four third place finishes.    

The following article appeared in The Paulick Report:

Mr. Buff handled a cutback to a one-turn mile with ease Feb. 22, besting four New York-breds by an astonishing 20 lengths on his way to becoming a millionaire in the $101,775 Haynesfield Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by John Kimmel, the Chester and Mary Broman homebred broke sharply from his inside post under regular rider Junior Alvarado and led the strung-out field with Syndergaard right at his throatlatch through an opening quarter-mile in :23.22 on a fast main track. Around the far turn, through a half-mile in :45.76, Mr. Buff extended his advantage as Syndergaard began to falter, with Honor Up making up ground.

Virginia-Sired Mr. Buff wins his third straight stakes race Feb. 22 at Aqueduct. Photo provided by NYRA.

At the quarter-pole, Alvarado gave the 17.2-hand wonder a few shakes of the reins, and he opened a wide margin before gearing down at the wire, finishing in 1:36.22.

Honor Up finished second, a length ahead of Syndergaard. Twisted Tom and Fleet Irish rounded out the order of finish.
Mr. Buff was cutting back in distance from a repeat win in the 1 1/8-mile Jazi Stakes Jan. 25.

Alvarado, who has been aboard the 6-year-old gelding for three of the jockey’s four stakes wins this meet, said he wanted his mount to be as sharp as possible out of the gate.

“Just because it’s a mile race, I was going to get out of there gunning,” Alvarado said. “I was going to go no matter what (post) position I was in at the beginning.

“Coming from a mile-and-an-eighth race, I didn’t want him to fall into a slow rhythm at the beginning. I just wanted to make sure I got him sharp out of there. He’s such a cool horse and knows what to do. You just nudge him a little out the gate, and he knew what he was supposed to do.

Mr. Buff, by Friend or Foe, breaks his maiden at Belmont on September 23, 2016. Photo by Adam Coglianese.

“At the quarter-pole, I asked him a little, and he took off again. He gave me the extra kick. He’s just a fast horse. It’s simple.”
Kimmel was highly impressed with what he saw out of Mr. Buff, who won his eighth stakes race and pushed his earnings to $1,051,536.

“He really put that group away easily. I don’t know what the speed figures will be, but he was geared down right to the wire. I haven’t seen a mile race run in 1:36 in a while,” Kimmel said.
Video: Haynesfield S. (BT)

Listen To New Season Of “Off To The Races” Radio Show Every Saturday Morning

Off to the Races is back.

The weekly radio show, which airs on the ESPN Richmond (VA) family of stations, and is available everywhere via livestreaming, returned for its 21st season on February 22. Terrestrial stations include 99.5 FM, 102.7 FM, and 950 AM.

The program will air each Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. It will also be archived on and

“We are excited to bring Off to the Races back for another great season talking Thoroughbred racing and breeding,” said Frank Vespe, host of the program and owner of The Racing Biz (, which develops the program.

Derby Bill Watson provides handicapping tips every Saturday on the “Off To The Races” radio show.

In 2020, the show is slated to kick of February 22 and to be on every Saturday morning for the next six months. The final episode is scheduled for August 29.

“It’s a great schedule that will allow us to be on the air through the entire Triple Crown season and beyond,” Vespe said. “And that will include the summer racing at Colonial Downs.”

In 2019, on a similar schedule, Off to the Races had a wide-ranging roster of top-notch guests. They included last year’s Preakness-winning trainer Mark Casse; Hall of Fame jockey and Triple Crown winner Ron Turcotte; trainer Graham Motion, who has won numerous Breeders’ Cup races; and many others.

Listeners can enjoy comprehensive coverage of Colonial Downs during the summer racing season.

The show also featured regular visits from racing analyst Nick Hahn and Derby Bill Watson, who gained fame as the original on-air handicapper for Colonial Downs. Both will be back in 2020.ns for its 21st season, starting February 22. Terrestrial stations include 99.5 FM, 102.7 FM, and 950 AM.

A Milestone at The Meadow; Secretariat’s Birthday Celebration Set For 3/28

(Doswell, VA) – On March 30, 1970, a legend was born. A fiery red colt named Secretariat took his first breath in a foaling shed at Christopher Chenery’s Meadow Stable in Caroline County, Virginia. In 1973, he left the world breathless with his spectacular and incomparable Triple Crown. Those three track records remain unbroken, and his bloodlines still live on in many of today’s most successful Thoroughbreds.

On March 28, 2020, Secretariat’s birthplace, now known as The Meadow Event Park, will be the epicenter of the official celebration honoring the immortal champion’s 50th birthday and his enduring legacy. Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of the late beloved Penny Chenery, will headline the all-day event with acclaimed sports journalist Steve Haskin, along with Steve Jordan, assistant to Secretariat’s trainer Lucien Laurin. Joining them will be jockey and actor Otto Thorwarth, who played Ron Turcotte in Disney’s Secretariat.

Secretariat’s annual birthday celebration will be at The Meadow Event Park.

The festivities kick off with Family Fun time from 11 am – 3:00 pm with a half-day ticket at $20 for adults and $10 for kids. Highlights include:
· A free commemorative Secretariat 50th Birthday gift to the first 250 attendees, courtesy of celebration sponsor Colonial Downs Racetrack, home of the nationally acclaimed Secretariat Turf Course
· Autograph sessions with Tweedy, Haskin, Jordan, Thorwarth, and other special guests
· A special exhibit of spectacular Secretariat paintings by renowned contemporary American Impressionist Lisa Palombo, whose art has been featured on over 40 book covers and national magazines
· Visits with Groundshaker, great-great granddaughter of Secretariat, and Mia, the Mighty Mini of The Meadow
· A display of the original training saddles worn by Secretariat and Riva Ridge
· A Kiddie Corral with “horsey” activities for kids
· Tours of the Meadow Hall galleries and the historic barns
· A silent auction, birthday cake, food concessions and much more

Groundshaker, the last horse bred and raced by Penny Chenery, will be special guest at the upcoming celebration.

The full-day ticket includes all of the above, plus a special evening program from 4 – 8 pm. It will feature a cocktail reception in Meadow Hall mansion with live jazz; a trio of custom-designed Secretariat birthday cakes created by nationally acclaimed Virginia baker Amanda Richardson, who has been featured on The Food Network; a special memorial tribute to members of the Meadow Stable team; a silent and live auction of rare Secretariat items; and a champagne toast at Secretariat’s foaling shed.

A major highlight of the evening program will be the interactive panel discussion on “Disney’s Secretariat: Fact and Fiction” with Kate Chenery Tweedy, Steve Haskin and Otto Thorwarth. Guests will get an insider’s perspective of the differences between the silver screen portrayal and the actual events.

The full day ticket price is $70 per person and includes a commemorative Secretariat champagne glass.

The Secretariat 50th Birthday Celebration is presented by the Secretariat Birthplace Tours of The Meadow Event Park and A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Secretariat Heritage Center Barn Restoration Fund. In addition to Colonial Downs Racetrack, event sponsors include Caroline County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and Hometown Realty of Ashland.

Fans should also mark their calendars for Secretariat birthday festivities in Christopher Chenery’s nearby hometown of Ashland, Virginia during the weekend. On Friday night March 27, there will be a welcoming reception from 5 – 7 pm. at the Iron Horse Restaurant. On Sunday March 29, there will be a Big Red Breakfast with Kate Tweedy at Hanover Tavern, followed by a tour of Ashland and a visit to Penny Chenery’s grave at Woodland Cemetery.


Tickets to the Secretariat 50th Birthday Celebration at The Meadow Event Park on March 28 may be purchased at

Tickets for the welcoming reception on March 27 and the breakfast and Chenery tour on March 29 may be purchased at For general information about the celebration, see For a list of hotels in the Ashland/Doswell area, see


Media contacts: Leeanne Meadows Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager/historian, 804-363-1683 Leonard Lusky,, 502-419-7001,

Finite Kicks Away From Champion British Idiom In Rachel Alexandra

Red hot 3-year-old filly Finite is part owned by Virginia Thoroughbred Association Executive Director Debbie Easter. Follow her progress here as the Kentucky Oaks nears!

Ron Winchell, Thomas Reiman, William Dickson and Deborah Easter’s Finite now owns back-to-back victories on the Fair Grounds trail to the Kentucky Oaks, defeating 2019 champion juvenile filly British Idiom (4-5 favorite) by 4 3/4 lengths in Saturday’s Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes. The 3-year-old Munnings filly (5-2 second choice), ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr. for trainer Steve Asmussen, ran 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:43.97.

“I think the last race put us in this position,” said Asmussen. “This race has obviously been a producer of really nice fillies and I think we have something to work with now with her. She’s always been a really game filly and has always showed a lot of heart. We won the Rachel with Untapable a few years ago then won the Fair Grounds Oaks and were fortunate enough to win the Kentucky Oaks, so we’re hoping this filly can stay sound and keep running well and hopefully follow that same path.”

The victory earns Finite 50 points toward the Kentucky Oaks, adding to the 10 she won last month in the Silverbulletday and the 10 from her G2 Golden Rod victory as a 2-year-old. Finite now tops the Oaks leaderboard with 70 points, while Breeders’ Cup winner British Idiom is second with 50 points.

British Idiom’s jockey, Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, said: “We were second best but I think she ran a good race and Finite has been running consistently, we’ve been off since Breeders’ Cup so she needed this race. she has been running more lately. My horse ran such a good race and I think next time will be a different story.”

Breaking from the outside in the seven-filly field, Finite rushed up to press the pace in the early going but was content to settle in third heading into the backstretch. British Idiom was back along the rail in sixth around the first turn, while His Glory ran out fractions of :24.20 and :47.97 on the lead.

2/15/2020 – Finite and jockey Ricardo Sanrtana, Jr. pull away to win the 40th running of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

Rounding the far turn, Finite drew even with His Glory while British Idiom was fanned three-wide under Javier Castellano. When British Idiom faltered slightly at the head of the lane, Finite kept on battling against His Glory. In the final furlong, Finite kicked away convincingly to win by over five lengths, while British Idiom dug in late to nab the place over Swiss Skydiver. Tempers Rising finished fourth.

“She was really ready and cranked for today,” said Santana. “I knew turning for home I had a lot of horse under me. She responded right when I asked her and she’s just such a fighter.”

Bred in Kentucky by co-owner Winchell Thoroughbreds, Finite is a fourth-generation homebred out of the multiple stakes-winning Tapit mare Remit. The filly brought $200,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old in training sale, and broke her maiden at third asking at Kentucky Downs. The Rachel Alexandra is her fifth win in a row, improving her overall record to five wins and two seconds from seven starts for earnings of over $630,000.


$1,357,730 In Virginia-Certified Bonus Earnings Distributed In 2019

The Virginia Thoroughbred Association’s Residency program hit a new gear in 2019 as $1,357,730 in bonus monies were distributed from 338 victories at tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region. 156 different owners, who had a horse spend at least six months at a registered farm in the Commonwealth prior to December 31st of their two-year-old year, shared in the monies.

Hero’s Man won his fifth start of 2019 December 18 at Charles Town. Photo by Coady Photography.

Top bonus earnings owner was Taylor Mountain Farm who racked up $75,781 from 20 wins, all at Charles Town and all trained by James Casey. Their Hero’s Man scored five wins which accounted for $18,472 of the total bonuses. The 4-year-old Charitable Man gelding has finished in the top three in 10 of 11 career starts and has bankrolled $125,504. He started 2020 with an allowance win January 22. Taylor Mountain’s largest bonus check came via Boundtobebad, a 3-year-old Windsor Castle filly who is 3-for-4 with wins in a maiden special weight, the West Virginia Futurity and the $75,000 Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders Classic Stakes.

Tass wins November 7 at Aqueduct. Photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese.

Second leading bonus earning owner was Matthew Schera with $54,952. His 4-year-old fillies include Tass, a Temple City Kentucky-bred and Zonda, a Scat Daddy Maryland-bred, who bagged three wins each and scored maximum bonus checks of $10,000. The former prevailed in the $125,00 Maryland Million Ladies Stakes while the latter connected in a $90,000 allowance test at Aqueduct. Both fillies are trained by James Lawrence. Schera collected nine wins total and those came at 7 different tracks.

Zonda captured the Maryland Million Ladies Stakes at Laurel October 19 and earned a $10,000 Certified bonus check. Photo by Jim McCue.

Larry Johnson’s ten wins and $49,087 in bonus earnings put him in third spot among owners. Maryland-breds Sky Magician, Thatsthewaytodoit and Never Enough Time each connected twice. The former is a 4-year-old Street Magician gelding who competed just three times in 2019. Overall, the Mike Trombetta trainee has three wins and four seconds from nine starts and earnings of $132,540. Johnson bred the trio who were all raised at his Legacy Farm in Bluemont.

The training track at Legacy Frarm on a recent winter morning.

Melinda Golden’s six wins all came from a single horse and translated into $34,723 in bonus monies. Parisian Diva, co-winningest Virginia-Certified horse in 2019, scored the double hat trick at Charles Town. The 4-year-old Freedom Child West Virginia-bred filly bankrolled a $8,943 bonus check from the Tourism Office Breeders Classic Stakes and $7,500 paydays from the Sylvia Bishop Memorial and Its Binn Too Long Stakes. Stacey Viands trains Parisian Diva who has accumulated $242,170 in earnings.

Parisian Diva wins her sixth race of the year October 12 at Charles Town. Photo by Coady Photography.

Rounding out the top five was Pewter Stable who earned $34,080 from seven scores. Pennsylvania-bred Word on a Wing reached the winners circle three times at Parx in respective maiden special weight and two allowance efforts. The 4-year-old Windhill gelding has earned $97,310. Maryland-bred Adreamgoesonforver had been winless in her first six starts but connected back-to-back late in the year at Penn National. The pair are trained by Kathleen Demasi.

Fish To Fry wins her third of six races on May 4 at Penn National. Photo courtesy of BND Photography.

Owners O’Sullivan Farms, Erin McClellan & Judith Barrett, and David Bloom all eclipsed the $20,000 mark in bonus winnings. O’Sullivan’s $28,611 came from nine wins. Nico, Firebird and Unruly Julie won two each between the Mountaineer and Charles Town ovals. The McClellan/Barrett combo rode their Pennsylvania-bred filly Fish To Fry to six wins, which tied her for most Certified victories with Parisian Diva. The daughter of Well Spoiled captured the six-pack at Penn National and accumulated $21,135 in incentive monies. Bloom parlayed six wins into $20,017. West Virginia-bred Chiefs Kingdom prevailed on four different occasions at Charles Town while Berry Strong won twice.

Nico wins December 6 at Charles Town. Photo by Coady Photography.

Renovations At Middleburg Training Center Near The Finish Line

If you haven’t been to the Middleburg Training Center in recent times, you may not recognize it today — in a good way!

The 149 acre facility in Loudoun County is nearing the finish line of a multi-million dollar upgrade courtesy of owner Chuck Kuhn, a Purcelville, Virginia businessman who purchased the property in 2017. The 7/8ths mile track was fitted with a new Duralock race rail and all barns have received or are receiving a facelift. Chuck’s son Steve (pictured below) is GM of the Center and has overseen the renovations.

“It’s been pretty rewarding, said Steve. “At the beginning, it seemed like a never ending, impossible task but now, I feel good about the progress we’ve made. We tackled the barn roofs, siding, gutters and their overall cosmetic appearance. The biggest renovation challenge has been figuring out the underground infrastructure which has been in place for 60 years or so. There are no schematics or maps available, so trying to find everything has been difficult. It’s got good bones though,” he added. “Now we’re getting to know the people and tenants that train horses here and making sure their requirements are met. ”

Renovation work to 10 of the 11 barns on the property has been completed. The final one (shown below) should be completed by spring.

Kieran Norris, who along with Madison Meyers, operates Ballyerin Racing which has been based at Middleburg for the last two years. Norris, who was born into dairy farming in his native Ireland, has been based in the U.S. now for the past eight years.

Together, Norris and Meyers have 17 horses at the Middleburg Training Center and another five at a nearby farm they rent which they rotate horses in and out of. Florida-bred Crimson Hayes (above) gets prepped for some indoor exercise on a cold morning. The 7-year-old gelding is a son of Red Giant, who won the 2007 Virginia Derby (and paid $76 to win). Crimson Hayes has bankrolled $152,974 from 37 starts, has won at five different tracks — Gulfstream, Tampa Bay Downs, Pimlico, Monmouth and Delaware Park — and most recently competed over fences at Montpelier last November.

Meyers, from Lexington originally, said they have a number of babies in their barn that are in the Virginia Certified Residency initiative. “The program has been a real help. It’s been a major factor in keeping Virginia’s racing industry relevant. After Colonial Downs closed, steeplechase racing kept it going here but since this program came along, it has moved a lot of horses into the state.”


Two-year-old Kentucky-bred filly Mary Jane Chrome (above on the left), by California Chrome, will make her racing debut later this year. “We have some that could be ready for Colonial Downs this summer,” said Meyers. “They did such a good job welcoming horsemen back to New Kent last year. There were so many small touches they did to make horses comfortable, like providing easy access to water and putting fans all around the paddock.”

Ballyerin Stable has been based at Middleburg for two years now. “We actually are in the first barn that was renovated,” added Meyers. “It’s been great so far and has been neat to watch the progress come along. Now that construction and repairs are almost done, the track and facilities are in much better shape and it’s getting back to where this place once was.”

The Middleburg Training Center was built in 1956 by Paul Mellon as a private picturesque facility. A local contingency of trainers led by Paul Fout bought it in 1975 then in 2006, Randy Rouse acquired it. Before the complex was most recently purchased, it was in the hands of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Spectacular Bid even trained at the Center which features 11 barns , 220 stalls and 22 paddocks.

The Center, which had been on the market for years though, was ringing up losses, was run down and in disrepair before Chuck Kuhn purchased the property. “It was all about conservation easement and protecting open space,” said his son Steve. “The property is valuable to my father. He wants to run it as a business and make a go of it.

“Currently, stalls are about half occupied,” added Kuhn, “But come spring and summer once renovations are complete, we hope to see more horses on the grounds. We might even try having another discipline like show horses on the other side of the property.”

For more information, visit For details on stabling horses there, e-mail or call 540-687-3041.

$712,500 in Virginia Breeders Fund Award Monies Distributed In 2019

A total of $712,500 in bonus awards were paid out in 2019 to Virginia breeders courtesy of the Virginia Breeders Fund. A total of 45 different breeders shared in the prize pool which came from 165 state-bred winners who amassed purse earnings of $3,298,412.

The Virginia Breeders fund is generated by 1% of every dollar wagered on live racing and via OTBs and ADW in Virginia. Each year the Virginia Racing Commission approves how the money in the fund is allocated. A large portion of the fund is set aside for payments to breeders of registered Virginia-breds that win races at any race track in North America. There is a $25,000 cap on any single award. In 2019 Breeders awards averaged 22% of each winning purse.

Out for a Spin captured the April 6th Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. Photo courtesy of Keeneland.

The William Backer Revocable Estate topped the list of bonus earners with $124,335 courtesy of three stakes winners. Out For a Spin won a $25,000 capped award for prevailing in the $300,000, Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. The now 4-year-old filly finished 2019 with $364,610 in purse monies from six starts. Both Tryon Summer and Ferdinanda secured $13,757 awards by winning the Nellie Mae Cox and Brookmeade Stakes respectively at the Colonial Downs summer meet. Bucky’s Pick chipped in with a $9,217 bonus for a $40,000 allowance optional claiming victory at Santa Anita.

Morgan’s Ford Farm was second with $86,800 in awards from 19 winners. They had two stakes champs — Bella Aurora in the Gin Talking at Laurel and River Deep in the Edward P. Evans at Colonial. Both had a purse of $100,000 and the awards were $13,757. Their K P Slickem earned $38,400 in an allowance optional claimer at Del Mar and got a reward of $8,804.

Initial runner-up River Deep was bumped up to the winners circle after Speed Gracer was DQ’d and placed fourth in the Edward P. Evans Stakes. Photo by Coady Photography.

Lazy Lane Farms rode a trio of wins from both Holly Hundy and Lenstar to take third with $72,638 in bonuses. The former won the $100,000 Camptown Stakes in New Kent and earned a $13,757 award while the latter scored allowance wins at Oaklawn in January and again in March and pocketed respective bonus awards of $11,693 and $10,730.

Jim Fitzgerald and Katie Fitzgerald were next with $59,362 from a total of ten wins. They connected with co-breeder Jeff Ackerman for another five, all of which were authored by 5-year-old Graydar gelding, Alphadar. The Fitzgerald’s also bred Meadow Stable Stakes winner Elusive Mischief who earned a $13,757 award. Their Mucho Mas also had a $12,381 bonus payday courtesy of a maiden special weight score at Oaklawn.

Sheldon Russell directed Elusive Mischief to victory in the Meadow Stable Stakes. Photo by Coady Photography.

Audley Farm Equine had nine victories and bonus winnings of $37,516. Tasting The Stars, a 4-year-old Bodemeister filly, orchestrated three of the nine. The largest bonus came from the Just Jenna Stakes at Monmouth ($10,317) while a pair of wins preceded that at Fair Grounds last winter.

Breeders Nancy Terhune and Ernest Frohboese combined for a four pack of wins including a pair from Embolden, who won the Jamestown Stakes ($13,757) and a maiden special weight ($6,984), both at Colonial Downs.

Embolden wins the Jamestown Stakes for 2-year-olds over the Colonial turf. Photo by Coady Photography.

Mr. & Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin III had a pair of $6,000-plus bonus earning wins among their total of seven. Passion Play earned $6,878 from a maiden special weight win at Colonial while a similar win by Miss Behave at Woodbine brought in $6,643. Mrs. Iselin had another five wins with horses she bred alone.

Sir Rockport’s five wins along with a pair from Greek God and On The Wings Of supplied Larry Johnson with nine of his 11 bonus checks. His $20,788 combined total was eighth best. Quest Realty had eight wins including two each from Drosselmoon, Graceful Request and Stay Out. Rounding out the top ten was Eagle Point Farm who bred M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes winner What The Beep, who returned a $13,757 bonus.

9-year-old Sir Rockport won his second straight race March 8th at Laurel. Photo by Jim McCue.

$37,500 in 2019 stallion awards were distributed among four owners. There were a total of 16 winners who earned purse monies of $560,099. Horses sired by Smallwood Farms’ Friend or Foe won 11 of those races, led by Mr. Buff who reached the winners circle five times on the NYRA circuit. The now 6-year-old gelding racked up $23,252 in bonuses from stakes triumphs in the Jazil, Saginaw, Evan Shipman, Empire Classic Handicap and Alex M. Robb Stakes. Largest award from the five came in the $300,000 Empire Classic ($11,599). Chillinwithfriends also scored a win each at Aqueduct and Belmont.

Mr. Buff started off a successful 2019 campaign by winning the Jazil Stakes. Photo by Elsa Lorieul.

Accountable, sired by Lady Olivia at Northcliff’s Cosa Vera, collected two wins at Great Meadow, good for $2,812 in bonus monies. Susan Halsey Minor’s sire, Fierce Wind, had two offspring win including Makemie Park who prevailed at Colonial on closing weekend. Leanne Hester also had a win with her homebred Storm Struck, whose sire is Gone Clubbing.

Tickets Now on Sale for Colonial Downs Meet That Begins July 23

Colonial Downs Expands Schedule to Run 18 Race Dates in 2020; Tickets Now on Sale for Meet Beginning July 23
General Admission Remains Free

NEW KENT, Va. (February 3, 2020) – Live racing returns to Colonial Downs in New Kent County in July and August with premium tickets going on sale today. General admission and parking are free. The best thoroughbred horses from around the country will run every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from July 23 through August 29. Premium tickets and full racing schedule are available at

Extravagant Kid wins the Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs this past summer. Photo by Coady Photography.

Colonial Downs’ second season since the return and revitalization of thoroughbred horse racing in Virginia offers a family friendly atmosphere for everyone: fine dining in the Jockey Club and Turf Club, private suites for larger parties, outdoor clubhouse boxes, reserved grandstand seating and a new hospitality tent trackside open to everyone.

Other race meet highlights include:
· Approximately $500,000 in daily purses and over $2.8 million in total stakes, including a robust Virginia bred and certified schedule during the 18 day meet will attract the best horses and jockeys from around the country to compete over the renowned Secretariat turf course, and second largest dirt track in North America.
· July 23-25 opening weekend kicks off with over $700,000 in VA bred and restricted stakes races.
· August 15 – MATCH Series, featuring $500,000 in stakes races.
· August 28-29 – closing weekend offering over $1.2 million in stakes races highlighted by the G-3 VA Derby on Saturday night with the VA Oaks, Rosie’s and Kitten’s Joy Stakes. (Last year’s Rosie’s Stakes winner, Four Wheel Drive, went on to capture the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.)

Tryon Summer (#6) beat Braxton to win the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes this past summer at Colonial Downs. Photo courtesy of Coady Photography.

“We are looking forward to an expanded race meet this year offering one of the highest purse structures in the country”, said Jill Byrne, Vice President of Racing at Colonial Downs. “The 2019 season was a very successful return to live thoroughbred racing at Colonial Downs and incredible support from horsemen and women, and fans and patrons from around the country. I love seeing families and guests out on the track apron where they can get close up to the horses and jockeys and watch the action from rail side.”

John Marshall, Executive Vice President of Operations at Colonial Downs Group added, “With a variety of ticketing and dining options as well as free general admission, it makes for an entertaining night out for everyone. Our motto is to add life, and we are adding life to New Kent County and Virginia during racing season and all year round.”

About Colonial Downs: In its first partial year of operations Colonial Downs Group opened four locations, created more than 1,000 jobs and contributed more than $16.2 million in taxes and racing industry payments in Virginia. At Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in Richmond, Hampton, New Kent County and Vinton we offer the excitement of innovative historic horseracing (HHR) gaming technology and full card simulcasting. At Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent County, we offer live thoroughbred racing at the best turf track in the country and will run 18 days in 2020. Colonial Downs Group has made a $300 million investment in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The project has not received any tax credits or government incentives.