Monthly Archives: February 2023

Virginia-Certified Coffeewithchris Scores with Stalking Trip in Miracle Wood Stakes

The following appeared in February 18 and was written by Dan Illman. Coffeewithchris is Virginia Certified and spent his residency at Horseshoe Hill Farm in Ashland.

LAUREL, Md. – Coffeewithchris earned his second stakes victory when upsetting odds-on favorite Prince of Jericho in the Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds at one mile on Saturday at Laurel Park.

The Miracle Wood was one of four $100,000 undercard stakes races on the Winter Spectacular program co-headlined by two $250,000 stakes, the Grade… Continue reading

‘Getting Closer to Where He Needs to Be’: Repo Rocks Brings Three-Race Win Streak into Stymie

Originally published on on 2/20/2023, written by Keith McCalmont/NYRA

Double B Racing Stables’ Repo Rocks brings a three-race win streak into Saturday’s $125,000 Stymie, a one-turn mile for older horses at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Repo Rocks is undefeated in three starts since joining the barn of trainer Jamie Ness, posting increasing Beyer Speed Figures for scores at Parx Racing in the Let’s Give Thanks [96] in November and Blitzen [97] on January 4 ahead of a lofty 111 when making… Continue reading

2023 is the 50th Anniversary of Secretariat’s ’73 Triple Crown

The 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s historical Triple Crown run is upon us this year and celebrations will take place locally and at big race events around the country, all recognizing those magical, record setting wins in the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

Racing fans in Virginia got an update February 20 on plans to celebrate those historic accomplishments and hear from sculptor Jocelyn Russell, who was commissioned to design a life size monument of Secretariat winning the Belmont Stakes… Continue reading

General Admission Ticketing Returns To Virginia Gold Cup at Great Meadow on May 6

Horse racing, fancy hats, tailgating, spring fashions and Virginia hospitality highlight
D.C.’s premier spring event

THE PLAINS, Va., Feb. 21, 2023– One of the nation’s oldest and largest steeplechase events, the Virginia Gold Cup celebrates its 98th anniversary this year on Saturday, May 6, at Great Meadow in The Plains. Tickets are on sale and are quickly selling.

As one of the Washington, D.C. region’s largest and oldest outdoor events, more than 50,000 people come out in their… Continue reading

Virginia-Connected Forte Early Kentucky Derby Favorite

The following appeared on the website. The 2023 “Run for the Roses” will be contested May 6 at Churchill Downs. Fans in Virginia can wager the big event at any Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, VA-Horseplay OTB, at the Virginia Gold Cup Races and at Shenandoah Downs, and online via,, and

Fifty years after Virginia-bred Secretariat took the Triple Crown by storm, a champion colt with deep connections to the Old Dominion is the early favorite for… Continue reading

Accomplished Horsewoman Firestone dies at 91

Diana Firestone was a lifelong equestrienne and award-winning owner/breeder.

Originally published on on 2/14/2023, written by Eric Mitchell

Lifelong equestrienne and accomplished owner/breeder Diana Melville Johnson Firestone died Feb. 12 at her home in West Palm Beach, Fla., her family confirmed Feb. 14. She was 91.

The tremendous loss to the Thoroughbred racing community, first reported by Thoroughbred Daily News, comes a year and half after the loss of her husband, Bertram Robert Firestone, in July 2021.

Diana and… Continue reading

Virginia Equine Alliance Looks Toward Spring Horse Racing Season

CHARLOTESVILLE, Va. – February 15, 2023 – Virginia’s horse racing venues have
announced spring racing dates for a series of Point-to-Point, Steeplechase and Harness Racing
events and the Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) is encouraging Virginia fans to take note of this
spring’s schedule and attend the races.

“We are looking forward to seeing fans at this year’s races,” said Darrell Wood, Communications
Director for the Virginia Equine Alliance. “The last live racing events were in early November
so it’s been… Continue reading

$975,000 in 2022 Virginia Breeders Awards Announced; 46 Different Farms Share in Bonus Monies

Knockgriffin Farm, Audley Farm Equine and Morgan’s Ford Farm were the top recipients of 2022 Virginia Breeders awards from 46 Commonwealth-based farms that shared a total of $975,000 in bonus monies. The trio earned $94,630, $94,290 and $86,846 respectively.

Knockgriffin scored 18 separate awards — most of any farm or breeder — led by Seaside Dancer’s five-pack at Golden Gate Fields and Mo Clare’s, who won the Brookmeade Stakes at Colonial Downs along with an allowance there. The awards from… Continue reading

Tenured Industry Professional, Jill Byrne, Joins Virginia Equine Alliance

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – February XX, 2023 – The Virginia Equine Alliance – a non-profit, 501 (c) 6 organization that sustains, promotes and expands the horse breeding and horse racing industries in Virginia – has announced Jill Byrne as its new vice president of strategic planning.

“Byrne is a wonderful fit for the role, especially with her decades of experience in the horse racing and breeding industries,” said Jeb Hannum, executive director of the VEA. “From being in the heart of… Continue reading