Horsemen’s Contract Extended To Jan. 21

The contract between the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (VHBPA) and Colonial Downs has been extended through Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at the request of incoming Virginia Racing Commission (VRC) chairman, J. Sargeant Reynolds, Jr.

The current contract between Virginia’s horsemen and Colonial Downs expired on December 31, 2013, but both parties agreed to extend the contract until January 14 in hopes of reaching an accord on 2014 race days. As of last week, the horsemen and Colonial Downs had been unable to reach an agreement on 2014 race days: The VHBPA has requested 8 weeks of racing to include between 24 to 32 race days; Colonial Downs’ original request to the Racing Commission requested 12 race days over 4 weekends.

Without Reynolds’ requested extension, the thoroughbred signals to Colonial Downs’ OTBs were scheduled to end as of midnight, January 14. If an agreement cannot be reached before midnight of Tuesday, January 21, Colonial Downs OTBs will be essentially shut down. The OTBs could remain open as wagering could be continued on harness racing.