Colonial Downs, Virginia HBPA to Honor TAA on Virginia Derby Day

August 30, 2022 (Lexington, KY): Another successful Colonial Downs race meet will culminate on Virginia Derby Day, highlighted by a dedication to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA).

The Kitten’s Joy Stakes (G3) will be presented by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance on Virginia Derby Day. A presentation of a TAA blanket and swag bag will be made to the winning connections following the running of the race.

“We’re thrilled to again partner with the TAA in sponsorship of the Kitten’s Joy Stakes,” said Colonial Downs Vice-President of Racing Operations, Jill Byrne. “We appreciate and value the importance of what the TAA provides to the industry and are happy to recognize their great efforts on our biggest day of the year, especially with a race named after one of the greatest Virginia Derby winners ever.”  

The TAA will host the Best Turned Out Horse awards sponsored by the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent Protection Agency (HBPA) for every stake race on the Sep. 6 card.

Winning grooms of the Best Turned Out Horse awards sponsored by the Virginia HBPA will receive a $100 cash prize and a TAA swag bag and will be streamed on the live simulcast feed at the New Kent, Virginia-based track.

“The Virginia HBPA is happy to sponsor and recognize the fine care that grooms provide our horses,” said Virginia HBPA Executive Director, Frank Petramalo Jr. “We at the Virginia HBPA are so appreciative of what the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and its accredited organizations provide for these horses after they retire.”

Initiated in 2019, Colonial Downs and the Virginia HBPA have each pledged $15 per start at the Colonial Downs meet to the TAA.

Colonial Downs and the Virginia HBPA combined to make a $50,000 donation to the TAA in 2021.

“Both Colonial Downs and the Virginia HBPA are staunch supporters of the TAA, and we are thankful for their recurring inclusion of the TAA on Virginia Derby Day,” said TAA President, Jeffrey Bloom. “We look forward to this event every year and the opportunity it provides to work alongside TAA supporting racetracks and horsemen’s groups to promote Thoroughbred aftercare.”

About Colonial Downs

Colonial Downs Group is a proud business operator in Virginia employing more than 1,000 team members in the Commonwealth, paying over $30 million in annual salaries, wages, and benefits. Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums® in Richmond, Hampton, New Kent, Vinton, and Dumfries offer innovative historic horseracing (HHR) gaming technology and full card simulcasting. Colonial Downs Group also recently opened a Rosie’s Game Room™ in Collinsville, which features a limited selection of some of their best HHR titles. Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent County hosts live thoroughbred racing on two nationally renowned surfaces – Secretariat Turf Course, the widest turf course in North America at 180 feet wide and on a 1 1/4-mile dirt track, second in length to only the world-famous Belmont Park. Colonial Downs Group has made a $300 million investment in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The company pays more than $32 million in annual state and local taxes plus an additional $12 million in racing industry payments annually. 

About the Virginia HBPA

The Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent Protection Agency is a non-profit organization whose members are owners and trainers licensed to race in Virginia by the Virginia Racing Commission. On their behalf it negotiates horsemen’s contracts with Colonial Downs and provides benevolent services for individuals working on the backside of the racetrack. The VHBPA is affiliated with the National HBPA in Lexington, Ky. To learn more about the VHBPA, visit

About the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance

Based in Lexington, KY, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that accredits, inspects, and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retrain, rehome, and retire Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Along with continued funding from its original partners Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals, and other industry members. Since inception in 2012, the TAA has granted more than $24.5 million to accredited aftercare organizations. Currently 82 aftercare organizations and approximately 180 facilities across North America have been granted accreditation. To learn more about the TAA, visit

PHOTO: Suzie Picou-Oldham


Stacie Clark


Alexandra Kokka