Monthly Archives: February 2021

Four 2018 Virginia Yearling Futurity Participants Share $5,000 In Bonus Awards

Congratulations to four Virginia connected horses that competed in the 2018 Yearling Futurity, who will share a $5,000 bonus pool based on career earnings they accumulated through their recently completed 3-year-old racing campaigns. The top earners in bonus winning order were Patriotic Punch ($3,000), Appraised ($1,000), Lady Fox ($700) and Beach Traffic ($300).

Virginia-Certified Patriotic Punch (#7) won a thriller at Pimlico September 25. Photo by Jim McCue.

Virginia- certified/Maryland-bred Patriotic Punch, bred by Charles Reed and Michael Zanella, bankrolled $125,969 from 17 career starts through December 31. The Carpe Diem filly, out of Lori Z’s Punch by Two Punch, reeled off three wins in a row during a five-week period in Maryland last year. She was best in maiden claimer and a pair of starter optional claiming races between September 11-October 17. Overall, she has 10 “top three finishes”. Patriotic Punch spent her Virginia residency at Karen Godsey’s Eagle Point Farm in Ashland.

The Yearling Futurity takes place annually at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds.

Virginia-bred Appraised also has recorded a trio of victories and ten “top three” finishes. The Shanghai Bobby gelding, bred and raised at Morgan’s Ford Farm in Front Royal, collected his wins in a series of claimers at Delaware Park over a nine-week period last year. Out of the Include mare, Looking Great, he has earned $70,067.

Lady Fox broke her maiden on a showery New Years Day at Laurel. Photo by Jim McCue.

Virginia-certified, Lady Fox finished 2020 with $56,540 in earnings — third best from the ’18 yearling class — and has kicked off 2021 with back-to-back wins. The Imagining filly, bred by Lady Olivia at North Cliff, LLC., had four runner-up finishes and a trio of thirds through 2020, good for $56,540. This year, she broke her maiden and prevailed in another claiming race, both at Laurel. The Maryland-bred, out of Lady Olivia by Silver Deputy, spent her residency at David Dobson’s Lady Olivia at North Cliff Farm in Rixeyville.

Pictured with Beach Traffic are: VTA President Brooke Royster, Patricia Ramey and handler Junior Johnson.

Beach Traffic, Reserve Grand Champion and winner of the Certified class at the ’18 Futurity, has collected wins at both Gulfstream and Monmouth. The Maryland-bred gelding, by Cross Traffic, has bankrolled $53,365 to date. Out of Pink Sand by Sky Mesa, Beach Traffic was bred by Patricia Ramey and Maciej Szwarc and raised at Ramey’s Hunt Ridge Stables located at Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville. He has hit the board in half of his 16 starts.

Aging Gracefully: Life In 2021 For The Last Three Known Secretariats

When the calendar turned the page to 2021 on January 1, all Thoroughbreds officially became one year older. That means that Ball Chairman and Border Run are now 33 years old, while Trusted Company is 32. Why is this important, other than the fact that they are all of advanced age, a blessing for any horse? Because they are the last three known living offspring of Secretariat, a precious few still providing a direct link to their illustrious sire.

Ball Chairman is the oldest of the group, born March 18, 1988. Purchased as a young broodmare by owner Charles Fipke, she’s also the only one who has spent time overseas – several years at Coolmore Stud in Ireland, visiting elite stallions like Sadler’s Wells and Galileo. To the court of Sadler’s Wells, she produced seven foals, including G1 winner Perfect Soul and Canadian sire Not Impossible. Five of her last six foals (Sheba GoldSadler’s SecretarySecretariat’s Soul, Dance Secretary and Urban Ball) are broodmares that have current runners in training.

After Perfect Soul was pensioned from stud duty at Darby Dan Farm, the stallion was sent home to Fipke’s Kentucky farm.

For a while mother and son had stalls at opposite ends of one barn, although Ball Chairman was out in her pasture almost 24/7. She was eventually moved to a broodmare barn but still only spends time inside during extreme weather or when she needs any medical or routine attention.

Fortunately, medical needs have been few and far between. Her primary health problems include issues related to retaining uterine fluid and chronic arthritis, especially in her left knee.

Ball Chairman, now aged 33: She’s “really good about letting us know when something is wrong,” says farm manager Elke Krohn. Photo: Patricia McQueen
Ball Chairman, now aged 33: She’s “really good about letting us know when something is wrong,” says farm manager Elke Krohn. Photo: Patricia McQueen

“She’s super tough,” said farm manager Elke Krohn, heaping praise on a mare who is “really good about letting us know when something is wrong. She’s like, ‘right here guys, I’m not right, this is not good.’” And so far, thanks to those equine signals for help and fast action by her caretakers, she has quickly recovered from any issues.

Recently she lost her younger best friend when the Wild Again mare Recoleta passed away peacefully.

The two mares shared a breakfast together in their pasture one day, and after a little nap only Ball Chairman got up again. But Secretariat’s daughter has found a new pal in 24-year-old Thislillightofmine, a daughter of Kingmambo out of a Sir Ivor mare. That makes her a descendant of Secretariat’s half-brother Sir Gaylord, sire of Sir Ivor. And it just so happens that Thislillightofmine’s leading earners as a broodmare were all by Perfect Soul.

“They get along really well,” Krohn said of the newly-paired mares. At this writing, they were spending their time in an indoor round pen at the back of the big broodmare barn. The weather was changing so much, and a serious cold spell was looming, so it was best to keep them inside.

“She does prefer to be outside, but at least they can roam around and look outside through windows.” Krohn laughingly referred to the temporary quarters as their “indoor condo”, adding that they would get back to their “outside condo”, complete with a run-in shed, as soon as possible.

The latest Borderisms

The only known living son of the Triple Crown winner is royally-bred Border Run, a full brother to both Terlingua and Pancho Villa. There’s a strong family resemblance among the three siblings, and owner Curtis Wright is thrilled to have stumbled across Border Run almost a decade ago, when the gelding was listed for sale on a local website.

Born March 23, 1988, just five days after Ball Chairman, Secretariat’s son was a stakes-placed winner of $155,238. A longtime racing fan and horseplayer, Wright recognized the gelding immediately from his racing days and wasted no time acquiring him for the small Washington farm that he and his wife Margo call home.

After nearly ten years with Wright, Border Run is still doing well. “Despite his age-appropriate teeth, he still enjoys carrots, cookies and peppermints. He can still manage hay too, which can be a problem as they age.”

Border Run, another 33-year-old: The only known living son of Secretariat. Photo: Patricia McQueen
Border Run, another 33-year-old: The only known living son of Secretariat. Photo: Patricia McQueen

The owner often waxes poetic about the gelding’s antics, and relayed three ‘Borderisms’ based on recent behaviors that define his personality.

Even at his age, Border Run loves to lie down in the pasture for naps, no matter the weather, and will stay motionless on his side with his best friend Anniversary Year (also sleeping) standing over him. Margo can be unnerved at the sight, and recently she got concerned when the nap seemed unusually long. She called for Curtis. “Once I looked out the window,” he said, “right on cue Border’s head came up and he stood up, no doubt refreshed, with a ‘what’s all the fuss?’ look on his face.”

That’s just one of the looks in the gelding’s repertoire. Another is, “Do you know who my father is?” He flashes that look whenever he is annoyed at something, or during a routine procedure he’s not happy with.

For the longest time, the Wrights had the goats Linus and Lucy; beloved Linus passed away last winter. To keep Lucy company, they acquired a new goat, Tara, and two of her baby nephews. Tara can be very noisy – “braying rapid fire sounding like a car alarm”, said Wright. “Like the venerable Sailor Man, Popeye, Border takes all he can take until he ‘can’t takes no more.’ So he flashes that look with his ears pinned, and Tara realizes she’s gone far enough.”

And then there’s a quirky drinking preference that just may be the reason for his longevity.

Wright goes to great lengths to make sure the horses have a nice clean water source, a 100-gallon trough “replete with goldfish to purify the water”. But Border Run prefers to quench his thirst another way when he can. A low area of the pasture collects rain water at certain times of the year, and it can get up to a foot deep. “So this regally bred individual, the result of years of careful planning, and one who wouldn’t walk through an inch of standing water if his life depended on it, likes to drink from the edges of this happenstance pond.”

He added that soon there will be ducks swimming and bathing in the water, but that won’t change the gelding’s behavior. “This lovable equine curmudgeon will grudgingly share what may be the waters of his Fountain of Youth. I think his GPS went sideways and he believes Ponce De Leon came to this corner of the country.”

Valentine Company

The youngest of the three known Secretariats, at age 32, Trusted Company is the first of them to celebrate an actual birthday this year, since she was born on February 14, 1989. This year the big chestnut Valentine marks her third birthday in the care of Bev Dee’s Bright Futures Farm, who acquired the mare in late 2018 when circumstances changed for her previous owner.

32-year-old Trusted Company: Her biggest health issue is arthritis. Photo: Patricia McQueen

When she first arrived at Bright Futures in early 2019, Trusted Company was such a picky eater that Dee had to offer her food in several different pans like a Smorgasbord. Early on she would eventually eat everything, but then started refusing some of the feed, and didn’t like different food mixed together. But then she acquiesced and started eating out of one bowl.

Unfortunately for Dee, that didn’t last long! “She’s decided she likes variety again, so we’re up to three different kinds of feed at each meal. And each meal yields a new ‘favorite’, so she’s always a step ahead of me.”

Of course, that’s no real problem for Dee, who knows that with senior equines, it’s necessary to cater to their every whim to keep them happy and healthy. And by all appearances, Trusted Company is both.

The mare’s biggest health issue is arthritis, for which she gets a Legend injection every six weeks. “That has helped her tremendously.” She’s also receiving PEMF (pulsing electromagnetic field) treatments two or three times a week. Those support the work the Legend does, explained Dee, helping with any inflammation that might be present but not easily seen.

Clearly the treatments have been working, as Secretariat’s daughter is feeling good. She “pouts” when she’s in the barn, much preferring the great outdoors. “As soon as I open her door to let her outside, she’s bursting with enthusiasm,” said Dee. “She would probably stay there 24/7 if I’d let her.”

Trusted Company’s constant companion remains the 28-year-old gelding Catch This T. Like Ball Chairman’s new companion Thislillightofmine, he descends from Sir Gaylord.

Although the pandemic kept fan visits to Bright Futures at a minimum last year, Dee did manage to hold the annual open house last September. It was a far cry from the usual large crowd, but Trusted Company made the best of it and the fans were thrilled.

“She was the star,” marveled Dee. “She loved the attention (and the cookies) and I think everyone who was here got their photo with her.” The mare obliged almost everyone with an ears-up pose, but sometimes she seemed to tire of stardom. “A few times I think she’d had enough attention and just wanted to nap, so she gave us helicopter ears!”

As the weeks go by with ongoing challenges from the pandemic, there’s always hope. In our small corner of the world, it’s hope that fans will get to see horses again on a regular basis. And for those connected with these three Secretariats, it’s hope that they are the gifts that keep on giving.

January 2021 Online Betting Handle In Virginia Up 51% Over Prior January’s

Kentucky Derby Day is slated for May 1 at Churchill Downs.

Of the four partner online outlets, TVG handled the most with $5,781,154, a 53% increase over last year’s $3,780,183. Their daily average was $186,488.  Twinspires, with a 50% increase over January last year, took in $2,899,579 in wagers compared with $1,924,191. Xpress, third overall, handled $1,511,187 versus $1,076,650 — up 40% — while NYRABets, newest of the four, saw an 82% gain with $498,510 over last January’s $272,875.

Grand thoroughbred handle tally for the month was $9,591,579 while $1,098,851 was wagered on standardbreds. Both totals are up by 53 and 35% respectively.

A total of $2,440,868 was also wagered last month at the eight in-state Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers. Five are located in Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in New Kent, Richmond, Hampton, Vinton and Dumfries. The other three are located in restaurant/bars in Henrico (Breakers Sports Grille), Chesapeake (Buckets Bar & Grill), and Collinsville (The Windmill OTB Sports Grill).

Buckets recorded the highest handle of the eight with $513,206 while Breakers was next with $505,400. The most popular thoroughbred tracks, by betting handle, were Gulfstream Park ($417,222), Tampa Bay Downs ($218,263) and Aqueduct ($200,396). The top harness track was Northfield Park at $102,832.

Tampa Bay Downs hosts their $400,000 Derby prep race on March 6.

Interest in racing should only increase as the Kentucky Derby prep race season heads into full swing. The last Saturday of this month, February 27, features two stellar stakes for three-year-olds. The $300,000 Fountain of Youth (Gr. 2) is one of eight graded events on the card at Miami’s Gulfstream Park while the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (Gr. 3) — pushed back to this date due to weather — is complemented by the $600,000 Razorback Handicap (Gr. 3).

Things heat up even more in March. A trio of Derby preps are on tap March 6 including the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (Gr. 2), $300,000 Gotham Stakes (Gr. 3) at Aqueduct and the $300,000 San Felipe (Gr. 2) at Santa Anita. Each of the three host tracks has also loaded up on powerful under cards. Tampa has the Grade 2 Hillsborough and Grade 3 Challenger, Aqueduct presents the Grade 3 Tom Foolery and Santa Anita hosts a pair of Grade I’s — the Frank Kilroe Mile and Santa Anita Handicap — and the Grade 2 San Carlos.

The $1 million Rebel (Gr. 2) at Oaklawn takes place the following Saturday with a four pack of under card stakes including the Grade 2 Azeri and $500,000 Essex Handicap. Santa Anita hosts the Grade I Beholder Mile the same afternoon.

Each Rosie’s has an OTB area which features live simulcasting from up to 20 tracks on a daily basis.

Fair Grounds plays host to the $1 million Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2) and a trio of other Grade 2 stakes on March 27. The Fair Grounds Oaks, New Orleans Classic and Muniz Memorial Classic will all appear on that card.

The month closes out with the big Florida Derby card at Gulfstream on March 27. A total of ten stakes will be on the program that day including the Grade 2 Pan American and Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks.

Urban One Teams With Colonial Downs Owner On $517 Million Casino Resort In Richmond

The following appeared at on February 21 and was written by Michael Martz.

A Black-owned Washington media company is teaming with the owner of a potential rival to propose a $517 million casino resort and live music theater in South Richmond on property now owned by Philip Morris USA, one of the city’s biggest employers.

Urban One, owner of four radio stations targeting predominantly Black audiences in Richmond, will announce on Tuesday that it is partnering with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, the owner of Colonial Downs Group and a growing chain of gaming emporiums in Virginia, to operate the casino as part of the 300,000-square-foot complex, according to a source close to the project.

Urban One plans to build the project on 100 acres owned by Altria Group Inc., the Henrico County-based owner of Philip Morris, at the Bells Road exit on Interstate 95, where Walmsley Boulevard meets Commerce Road just south of the tobacco company’s signature cigarette manufacturing complex.

Colonial Downs opened its fifth Rosie’s Gaming Emporium earlier this year in Dumfries.

The Urban One partnership with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment would take Colonial Downs out of the running for a potential license to build and operate a casino in Richmond. The city also expects to receive an application by its deadline Monday afternoon from the Pamunkey Indian Tribe for a $350 million South Richmond casino resort it proposed 13 months ago.
Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins confirmed that the company would be the majority investor in the project, following the path blazed by the late Don Barden, the first Black majority owner of a casino in the United States.
“We have been a part of the Richmond community since 1999, and everything we are proposing will have a local flavor and will ensure our facility uplifts the entire Richmond community,” Liggins said.

Urban One, operating as Radio One, owns more than 50 radio stations in over a dozen markets along the East Coast as far south as Texas and in Ohio and Indiana. Its FM stations in Richmond include WKJS-Kiss Richmond; ESPN Richmond; WCDX-iPower Richmond; and WPZZ-Praise Richmond.

Minority ownership has been a major issue in the casino legislation adopted by the General Assembly last year, as well as related bills pending in the legislature.

There are five Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in the state, which have HHR terminals and OTBs on site.

Urban One already has a $40 million, 7% stake in MGM National Harbor casino resort in Maryland, but Liggins told The Times-Dispatch last year that Urban One plans to submit a proposal to Richmond that “will include a focus on diversity and inclusion, and creating economic opportunities for Black and other minorities in central Virginia.”
Altria would not discuss details of the real estate transaction, but spokesman Steve Callahan said, “We’ve long supported economic development efforts in the Bells Road Corridor and believe that this predominantly industrialized area would benefit from further development. “

“An important part of this process is allowing the broader Richmond community to share its perspective,” Callahan said.

The project would include about 90,000 square feet of casino gaming space, a 150-room hotel, up to a dozen restaurants and lounges, and a 3,000-seat entertainment venue that could host up to 200 live music events a year, according to the source. The complex also would feature outdoor recreational amenities in an open area that would be bounded by Bells Road, Trenton Avenue and CSX railroad tracks that separate the industrial area from the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor.

Richmond is soliciting proposals from potential casino operators under a state law enacted last year that allows legal casino gambling in Virginia for the first time, but only in five cities after approval by voters in local referendums. Four cities — Norfolk, Portsmouth, Danville and Bristol — have approved casino projects. Richmond voters will get their chance in November.
The city announced last week that an evaluation panel that includes two City Council members and seven administration officials will review the proposals with support from an outside consulting firm and make recommendations to Mayor Levar Stoney.

The Pamunkey tribe is seeking state licenses for casinos in Richmond and Norfolk, where it has an agreement to develop a resort along the Elizabeth River downtown. The tribe has preferential treatment under the state law because of its tribal gaming rights in a broad swath of its ancestral territory.

Early last year, the tribe proposed a casino resort on land it is purchasing along Commerce Road at Ingram Avenue, closer to downtown Richmond than the Urban One site and reached from I-95 at the Maury Street exit. The tribe also has an agreement to buy property at Jefferson Davis Highway and Walmsley for a workforce training center that it proposed to convert to community uses later.

Colonial’s New Kent facility features the 180-foot wide Secretariat Turf Course.

But the proposal was not well-received by the predominantly Black neighborhoods around the proposed casino.

Jay Smith, a spokesman for the Pamunkey tribe, said Friday that it intends to submit a proposal for a new location Monday, but declined to say where.

The mayor’s press office said last week that it will release the names of the parties that submitted proposals and their proposed sites soon after the submission deadline Monday.

The company owns a horse track and historical horse racing gaming parlor in New Kent County, as well as Rosie’s gaming emporiums in South Richmond, Hampton, Roanoke County and Dumfries, a town in Prince William County that could have a much larger gaming operation under the state casino law.

The law awards Colonial Downs additional gaming terminals — they look like slot machines but operate on historical horse racing results — as compensation for competition from casinos in up to five cities.

Rosie’s opened a modest emporium with 150 gaming terminals in Dumfries early this year, but Colonial Downs announced plans last week to build a $389 million gaming resort in the town that would feature as many as 1,650 machines, a 200-room hotel and eight restaurants.

The project would be built on 79 acres that includes a debris landfill along I-95 in Northern Virginia. Colonial Downs said the landfill would close 11 years early and become recreational space next to the gaming resort.

Peninsula Pacific, based in Los Angeles, owns and operates casinos in Sioux City, Iowa, and Waterloo, N.Y., in addition to the Colonial Downs horse track and Rosie’s gaming emporiums in Virginia.

Gomes added: “We look forward to maintaining that partnership as the city moves forward with any additional gaming initiatives.”

Alfred Liggins, Urban One CEO.

Virginia-Certified Street Lute Captures Wide Country Stakes — Her Fifth Straight Stakes Win

Congratulations to Virginia-Certified Street Lute, who won the $100,000 Wide Country Stakes, February 20th  at Laurel. The daughter of Street Magician has won four other stakes at Laurel since mid-November: the Xtra Heat, Gin Talking, Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship and Smart Halo. She spent her six month Virginia residency at Diana McClure’s DMC Carousel Stable in Berryville. Street Lute is trained by John Robb and owned by Lucky 7 Stables. Photos below courtesy of Jim McCue.

The following appeared in and was written by Dan Illman.

Street Lute continues to stamp herself as the dominant 3-year-old filly in the Mid-Atlantic region. She grabbed her fifth consecutive stakes with another tactical performance in the $100,000 Wide Country Stakes at seven furlongs.

A Maryland-bred daughter of Street Magician, Street Lute ($4) broke sharply, but jockey Xavier Perez opted to sit behind the hot pace set by Little Huntress and Whiskey and Rye.

Virginia-Certified Street Lute wins her fifth straight stakes — the Wide Country at Laurel on Feb. 20. Photo by Jim McCue.

Those two fillies battled through fractions of 22.62 and 44.91 before Perez made his move on the far turn. Street Lute gave an eye-catching run to pass the pacesetters, then kept about her business to hold off Fraudulent Charge’s late kick. Fraudulent Charge also finished second to Street Lute in the Gin Talking Stakes on Dec. 26.

“Once he asked her, it was all over,” said trainer Gina Robb, wife of trainer Jerry Robb, during a post-race interview broadcast by Laurel Park. “For her to chase the pace and finish the way she did, that was pretty spectacular. I think she kind of proved a point today.”

Street Lute cruised in the Xtra Heat. Stakes at Laurel. Photo by Jerry Dzierwinski.

Street Lute completed the seven furlongs in 1:23.59 seconds and finished one length ahead of Fraudulent Charge. Salt Plage finished third followed by Buckey’s Charm, Lady Clau, Miss Leslie, Whiskey and Rye, Little Huntress and My My Girl.

Virginia Gold Cup Moved To May 29, Will Allow Limited Spectators

The following appeared in The Paulick Report February 18.

Every May, on the same date as the Kentucky Derby, one of the nation’s largest steeplechase events takes place in Northern Virginia. As an event that has been run on the first Saturday in May for the past 95 years, the Virginia Gold Cup is considered to be Virginia’s answer to the Kentucky Derby. This year that date will change to May 29.

Last year, the event moved to June 27 and ran without spectators. It was livestreamed without charge so its many fans could watch online.

This May marks the 96th year for the event and organizers have completely overhauled the spectator portion to comply with COVID-19. The event will now run on May 29 with limited ticket packages for sale. Spectators will be allowed in a reduced number of pre-purchased rail spaces that will ring the entire racecourse. No corporate tents will be allowed on site. Rail spaces will be spread out and will be larger than in past (12′ wide by 20′ deep.) Those attending must purchase a rail spot that comes with 10 tickets (10 wristbands, one reserved tailgate car pass and two general admission car passes.) The cost is $675 for a rail space on Member’s Hill and $500 for rail spaces on north or south areas around the racecourse. No individual tickets will be sold.

Doc Cebu (#1) has the edge over runner-up Codrington College (#6) at one of 23 timber fences the field encountered in the 2020 Gold Cup. Photo by Tod Marks.

Limited ticket packages are available and purchases can only be made by calling 540-347-2612. Sales are on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Attendees who have had a regular rail spot year-after-year will not receive that space this year and those who acquire a rail space this year will not receive any privileges for subsequent years. In 2022, the event will revert back to its space reservations of 2019 as there are a number of people who have held specific spaces at the race for years.

“A final ruling on the event is expected from the Governor a month before the race. Should something happen with Covid-19 between now and April 15, we will be able to adjust accordingly,” explained Dr. William Allison, chairman of the Virginia Gold Cup Association. “In the interim, we’ll accept space reservations but they’ll be very limited.”

Covid-19 restrictions will limit the availability of food at the event. “All spectators will have to bring their own food and drink,” Allison continued. Some catering will be available for on-site pickup (see website for details.)

Anticipating was one of two winners Jonathan Sheppard had on the 2020 fall International Gold Cup card. Photo by Douglas Lees.

The pandemic has severely financially impacted the equine industry in Virginia. It is an industry that’s very important to the Commonwealth’s economy. A 2018/19 report by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported that the horse industry brings more than $2 billion annually in economic development to the Commonwealth. The report noted that there are more than 183,643 horses in the state that provide approximately 38,874 jobs. It also stated that there are 30.5% or one million households that contain horse enthusiasts.

“It’s important to run these races so that we can continue to help out the equine industry and provide some income,” stated Allison. “So many jockeys, trainers and industry employees are dependent on these races.”

For more information visit The website will be updated as additional information becomes available.

The 2021 Virginia Gold Cup Races are presented by Brown Advisory, the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, Virginia Equine Alliance and the Virginia Breeders Fund.

Rosie’s Resort Casino Proposed To Open In Dumfries In 2023

The following appeared at February 15 and was written by Uriah Kiser

Rosie’s is thinking bigger. Much bigger.

Rosies Gaming Emporium, a 19,000-square-foot gaming center opened on January 8 with 95 video slots in the Triangle Shopping Center in Dumfries, proposes building a massive $389 million casino resort on the grounds of Potomac Landfill, a debris junkyard on the edge of town.

“The Rose” would be a first for Virginia and include 50,000 square feet of gaming space, a 250-seat sports bar, seven other bars and restaurants, 200 hotel rooms, a 1,500-seat theater, and 7,000 square feet of meeting space.

A rendering of the proposed Resort Casino in Dumfries.

Colonial Downs, the owner of Rosies, which operates a racetrack in New Kent County near Richmond, and four other Rosie’s emporiums across the state, is expected to pitch the idea at the Dumfries Town Council at its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday, February 16.

According to documents in the town council meeting agenda, the casino would create 640 jobs that pay a $15 an hour wage. A total of 96 managers hired to work at The Rose would make an average of $70,000 a year, documents state.

Colonial Downs says the new casino would generate $11.3 million a year in new tax revenue for Prince William County and nearly $80,000 a year for Dumfries.

If all goes to plan, Colonial Downs proposes breaking ground on the new facility in August. That’ll mean closing the Potomac Landfill 11 years earlier than planned.

The casino would sit on 22 acres of the landfill property. The remaining 79 acres would be converted into a park with sports fields, trails, and open space.

According to town documents, the park would open in December 2022, and the casino would open a month later.

The Colonial Downs Group opened their 5th Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in Dumfries, Virginia on January 8th.

In 2016, the town struck an agreement with the landfill to close the facility, which is full of debris hauled in from construction sites, in 2032. At the time, town officials expressed interest in turning the landfill into a public park.

In 2011, the landfill became notorious for the smell of sulfur, which permeated the surrounding area. Neighbors living nearby, and drivers on Interstate 95 traveling past the dump, complained.

Rosies Gaming Emporium is the first gaming joint to open in Northern Virginia. Since it turned on its games, more than 21,000 people have visited the gaming parlor in the shopping center, located next to a McDonald’s and a public library.

According to Rosies, it has donated more than $75,000 to charity since opening and has created 100 jobs.

Rosies proposes converting the current gaming parlor in the shopping center into an employment center.

In November 2019, a total of 468 of the town’s nearly 6,000 residents voted in a referendum to approve gambling in Dumfries. The referendum passed with more than 60% of the vote, following an extensive advertising campaign by Colonial Downs.

David Ross’s Extravagant Kid Seeks To Become Racing’s Newest Millionaire on Saturday

The following article appeared at Extravagant Kid, owned by Virginia businessman David Ross — who is President of the Virginia HBPA — will become a million dollar earner with a first or second place finish in Saturday’s (Feb. 13) Colonel Power Stakes at Fair Grounds.  

Extravagant Kid will look to become racing’s newest millionaire when he makes his Fair Grounds debut in an extremely tough renewal of the $100,000 Colonel Power. Run at 5 1/2 furlongs over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, the Colonel Power drew a field of nine, including a quintet of turf sprint stakes winners.

The Colonel Power is Race 7 and is one of six stakes on a 13-race card dubbed Louisiana Derby Day Preview, which is highlighted by the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) and the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2). The Risen Star is by far the deepest and most competitive Kentucky Derby (G1) prep to date and will offer a total of 85 Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers (50-20-10-5). The Rachel Alexandra will be offered for 3-year-old fillies, with the same 85 qualifying points up for grabs for the Kentucky Oaks (G1). There is also an “All Stakes Late Pick Five” (races 9-13) with an estimated pool of $400,000, and an “All Stakes Late Pick Four” (races 10-13) with an estimated pool of $750,000.

Extravagant Kid won for the third time in his last four starts, May 29 last year at Churchill Downs. Photo by Coady Photography.

DARRS’ Extravagant Kid (post 3 at 5-2 on Mike Diliberto’s morning line with Florent Geroux to ride) has been a gem of consistency in his career for trainer Brendan Walsh, who has had him for 25 of his 48 career starts. The 8-year-old son of Kiss the Kid has basically run in any meaningful graded turf stakes over the past three years and has more than held his own, which includes a close fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland in November.

“He shows up every time and I think the stronger the opposition the better he runs,” Walsh said. “He was only beaten a length in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and has been an unbelievable horse for us.”

Extravagant Kid has won 14 times and run second 15 more in his 48 races, but oddly enough none of them have come at Fair Grounds, where Walsh has the majority of his horses during the winter. Extravagant Kid has spent every winter of his life, like a lot of elder citizens, in Florida, including earlier in his career when he was with trainers Bill Kaplan and Mand Milton Wolfson. He twice ran second there this winter at Gulfstream Park, including the Sunshine Sprint on dirt Jan. 16, when Walsh decided it was time for a change of scenery.

David and Dana Ross are shown with the Da Hoss trophy courtesy of Extravagant Kid’s 2019 win at Colonial Downs.

“I thought we’d change things up a bit and bring him to the Fair Grounds just because he’s getting a little older and to give him something else to think about mentally,” Walsh said. “He’s in great order and I think the long stretch will suit him. It’s a good race. There are some nice horses, and he’ll have to have his running shoes on to beat them.”

Running shoes are something Extravagant Kid has always had on, as he’s won a combined eight stakes on turf and dirt in his career. Should he run second or better in the Colonel Power he’ll check off another box on an already storied career.

“To get to a million dollars, that’s pretty amazing,” Walsh said. “He’s one of those horses you wish you had a dozen of. He’s never missed a beat and he’s been in all the big ones.”

D.J. Stable, and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Turned Aside (post 5 at 4-1 with Adam Beschizza) is the polar opposite of Extravagant Kid, having run just nine times in his career. The 4-year-old son of American Pharoah won four of those starts when with trainer Linda Rice, including the Turf Sprint Championship at Aqueduct on Nov. 28. He was purchased privately Jan. 14 for $725,000 out of a dispersal sale from the Estate of the late Paul Pompa and turned over to trainer Mark Casse. Assistant Dave Carroll oversees Casse’s Fair Grounds string and has been impressed with what he’s seen so far.”

“He had the one work with us but obviously his race card speaks for himself,” Carroll said. “Just in the short time we’ve had him, he’s a lovely horse and as Mark says, this is the logical spot to start him in. Linda did a great job with him and he came to us in great shape. We’re looking forward to getting him going and are hoping to keep up his good form.”

Extravagant Kid wins the Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs in 2019. Photo by Coady Photography.

The two new shooters will face a deep and talented cast of locals who have a “the gang’s all here” feel to them. Susan Moulton’s Manny Wah (post 1 at 9-2 with Miguel Mena) won the local Jan. 16 Duncan F. Kenner in his turf debut for trainer Wayne Catalano, defeating trainer Michelle Lovell and Griffon’s Farms’ homebred Just Might (post 3 at 9-2 with Colby Hernandez), who won the Colonel Power last year and was also second in the local Richard R. Scherer Memorial in December. Crawford Farms’ Racing’s Archidust (post 7 at 6-1 with Joe Talamo) won the Scherer but was just seventh as the favorite in the Kenner for trainer Steve Asmussen, but he could easily bounce back in a group that has clearly relished turning the tables on each other.

Completing the Colonel Power field from the rail out: Tamaroak Partners’ Bango (post 2 at 12-1 with Gabriel Saez), a stakes winner over the Tapeta at Turfway Park in 2020 but winless in his only turf start for trainer Greg Foley; Dale Ladner’s homebred Jack the Umpire (post 6 at 15-1 with James Graham), a close seventh going long in the local Dec. 26 Woodchopper for trainer Brett Brinkman; Lothenbach Stable’s homebred Captivating Moon (post 8 at 12-1 with Marcelino Pedroza), who is also entered in Race 11 in the Fair Grounds (G3) for trainer Chris Block; and owner-trainer Louie Roussel’s Went West (post 9 at 12-1), who is 5-3-2-0 in his career but makes his turf debut.


2021 Colonel Power (LS)


Grey Swallow, Hollywood Handsome To Stand At Willow Hill Equestrian In Virginia

by  | 02.08.2021 | 1:40pm

Hollywood Handsome scores an allowance win at Churchill Downs

Willow Hill Equestrian in Orange, Va. will add two new members to its stallion roster in 2021, in veteran Grey Swallow and newcomer Hollywood Handsome.

Grey Swallow, the winner of the 2004 Irish Derby, will stand the upcoming breeding season for an advertised fee of $3,000.

The 20-year-old son of Daylami previously stood at Calumet Farm in Kentucky. Before that, he stood in Australia and his native Ireland.

Grey Swallow has sired 10 crops of racing age, with 51 winners and combined progeny earnings of more than $2.4 million. He has Grade/Group 1-placed runners in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, with Ungrateful Ellen finishing second in Australia’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks and Cadet Connelly running second in Canada’s Grade 1 Summer Stakes.

Grey Swallow won six of 15 starts during his own on-track career for earnings of $1,607,293.

In addition to his Irish Derby score, his 2004 campaign featured a win in the listed Two Thousand Guineas Trial Stakes and a third-place finish in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas itself. As a 2-year-old, he won the G3 Killavullan Stakes.



Grey Swallow continued to run at a high level when he reached the older horse division, including a victory in the G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland. He then became a globetrotter, competing in the U.S., Canada and Australia. His biggest success came in the U.S., where he won the G2 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap and finished third in the G1 Manhattan Handicap.

Bred in Ireland by Mrs. C. L. Weld, Grey Swallow is out of the winning The Minstrel mare Style of Life, who was named Ireland’s Broodmare of the Year in 2004. His siblings include Group 3 winner Moonlight Dance, and Group 3-placed Central Lobby, Stylish Ways, and Rustic.

The stallion’s extended family includes Italian Group 1 winner Night Style.

Hollywood Handsome, a Grade 2-placed son of Tapizar, will debut at stud in 2021 for an advertised fee of $1,000.

The 7-year-old retired with four wins in 36 starts for earnings of $269,989. After just missing the board in a pair of Kentucky Derby prep races, Hollywood Handsome entered the the 2017 Belmont Stakes but he was pulled up after he clipped heels and the rider lost his irons.

Hollywood Handsome earned his most notable black type at age four, when he finished second in the G2 New Orelans Handicap.

Bred in Kentucky by North Hanover Bloodstock, Hollywood Handsome is out of the winning Forestry mare Ladyflickerflacker, who is the dam of two winners from three foals to race. His second dam is the Grade 2-placed stakes winner Harbor Blues, and his extended family features Grade 2 winner Night Patrol.

Selected Virginia Stallion Season Auction Offerings To Benefit Kentucky HHR Lobbying Efforts

The following appeared in The Paulick Report February 5 and was written by Joe Nevills.

The developing situation regarding the status of historical horse racing (HHR) in Kentucky has created an “all hands on deck” scenario within the state’s racing industry to ensure the crucial revenue source remains in place.

That call has been heard outside the state as well. The Virginia Thoroughbred Association will feature a group of offerings during its upcoming stallion season auction where the full proceeds will benefit the Kentucky Equine Education Project’s lobbying efforts toward restoring HHR in the state and putting it on firmer legal ground.

Horse of the year Gun Runner at Three Chimneys Farm. Photo by EquiSport.

The auction, set to take place Wednesday, Feb. 10, features four seasons donated thus far by Kentucky stallion operations where the money will go toward the KEEP Alliance, a branch of KEEP specifically dedicated to lobbying, grassroots campaigns, and otherwise raising awareness among key people and groups about the importance of HHR in Kentucky.

As of Friday morning, the seasons benefitting the KEEP Alliance come from Airdrie Stud‘s ComplexitySpendthrift Farm‘s GoldencentsGun Runner of Three Chimneys, and Not This Time of Taylor Made Stallions. Farms are welcome to donate further seasons to benefit the KEEP Alliance prior to the auction.

VTA executive director Debbie Easter said the seasons were added to the auction in recent weeks, helping push the total number of different stallions on offer near 220 from 11 different states.

“Obviously, it’s a good cause,” Easter said. “Everybody gets too regionalized sometimes, and it’s important for us to work together to help each other. This is an important thing for Kentucky, and helping keeping things going along is important. Horse people working together always do better than working apart, so we’re trying to move the needle a little bit.”

Virginia’s Thoroughbred economy is familiar with the benefits HHR can have on a program.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed an HHR bill into law in 2018, which set into motion the re-opening of Colonial Downs and significant funding sources to fuel purses and incentive programs on and off the racetrack. The Virginia-Certified program paid out a record $1.77 million in awards in 2020, and Easter said HHR revenues have just started to kick into that pool, leaving even more room for growth in the future.

“We certainly know how important HHR is going to be to us,” Easter said, “and we’ve certainly seen what it’s done for Kentucky, and they can’t afford to lose that.”

While Virginia has been able to show positive growth with the help of HHR, it’s widely accepted that Kentucky’s Thoroughbred market is the tide that lifts and sinks the other regional-market boats in North America.

Even the largest foal-producing jurisdictions outside of the Bluegrass State are supported heavily by Kentucky stallions, and its starting gates are filled by Kentucky-breds. A weakened Kentucky racing industry would have ripple effects on the state’s breeding program, and the rest of North America would feel the aftershock whether they race or breed in the state or not.

“Debbie was very enthusiastic about helping us,” said Elizabeth Jensen, KEEP’s executive vice president. “I think everybody realizes as goes Kentucky, so goes the rest of the country’s racing industry, so we need to keep it strong and vibrant here. We’re happy that our counterparts in Virginia are willing to help us out and support us.”

Beyond the season donations, Jensen said Kentucky’s major stallion operations have supportive of the advocacy measures to preserve HHR in the state. She noted that farms including Ashford Stud and WinStar Farm have made cash donations, and many stallion stations have sent out emails to their client lists urging them to take action.

“Preserving historical horse racing has to be the entire industry in Kentucky’s priority right now,” Jensen said. “If we lose that, we lose 1,400 jobs overnight, and losing those purses and the horses that we’re getting at Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs during summer racing, and just the whole racing circuit in Kentucky will be severely impacted if we don’t get this done.”