Monthly Archives: April 2022

Daniel M. “Speedy” Smithwick Passes Away

Daniel M. “Speedy” Smithwick Jr., 62, of Middleburg, passed away on April 23.

Speedy’s passion was the sport of horse racing. He was born on October 27, 1959 to two Hall of Fame horse trainers, Dorothy Fred Smithwick and D.M. ‘Mikey’ Smithwick. As a child, he juggled his time between Hydes, MD and Middleburg. He spent his summers on the Ogden Phipps’ estate in Old Westbury, Long Island watching his dad train steeplechase legends such as Neji and Top Bid.… Continue reading

Rosie’s Breaks Ground in Emporia with New Gaming Emporium


  • By Mark Mathews Editor, Independent Messenger
  • Updated Apr 25, 2022
The first full shovel loads of dirt are ready for tossing during Thursday morning’s groundbreaking at the future site of Emporia’s Rosie’s Gaming Emporium. Pictured from left are Nancy Rose, Patricia Paige, Mathew Starr, Matthew Smolnik, Dr. Carolyn Carey, Aaron Gomes, William Johnson, Lisa Speller, Dale Temple, Carol Mercer, Jim Saunders, Woody Harris, Carol Mercer.Mark Mathews/Independent-Messenger

Local representatives picked up a shovel approximately 15 months after the announcement of Rosie’s… Continue reading

Middleburg Spring Races Preview; Glenwood Park Set To Host Sold Out Crowd April 23rd

Middleburg Preview:

Top hurdlers return to action in Virginia, while timber veterans square off in Maryland.


It has been 20 months since steeplechase fans watched Bruton Street-US’ mighty gray Moscato in action. Following 2020 victories in the G2 Temple Gwathmey at Middleburg and the G1 A.P. Smithwick at Saratoga, the 9-year-old British-bred son of Hernando was third in the G1 New York Turf Writers Cup at the Spa. But his two masterful performances were enough to earn… Continue reading

Virginia 2021 Breeder’s Champions Announced; Awards Night Set at Great Meadow

Virginia 2021 Breeder’s Champions Announced; Awards Night Set at Great Meadow

The annual Virginia Breeder’s Awards program has been scheduled at Great Meadow Friday May 6th — the evening before the Virginia Gold Cup Races — in a return to more of a “normal times” format for the first time since 2019. The event will take place in a trackside tent on Member’s Hill overlooking the deep stretch and finish line areas where steeplechase horses are set to compete… Continue reading

Churchill CEO: “Virginia Racing Has a Chance To Be Reborn”


The following appeared at on April 8 and was written by Nick Hahn.

The winds of change are blowing in horse racing, and in Virginia, at least, the prevailing winds are out of Kentucky.

Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen blew into town to meet with the Virginia Racing Commission April 6 and, at an at-times spirited public question-and-answer session, outlined a vision for the future that’s sure to please many stakeholders but may cause angst in other quarters.… Continue reading

Triple Treat – Celebrate Secretariat, Riva Ridge & Penny Chenery April 23 in Ashland

Join the authors of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend — Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery, and Leeanne Meadows Ladin along with special guests for a reception, video presentation, and book signing. Special memorabilia will be on display. Light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar with wine, beer, and a special Meadow Farm Mint Julep will be available.

Secretariat shown in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. Photo courtesy of AP.

An exclusive screening of the film… Continue reading