News

  • Secretariat Monument Groundbreaking Takes Place in Ashland on Feb. 7
    Virginia horse racing fans got to celebrate a milestone event Wednesday February 7 as a ceremonial groundbreaking for the magnificent bronze Secretariat “Racing into History’ monument took place in Ashland on the outer edge of the Randolph Macon College campus. The ceremony took place under gorgeous sunny skies, and a large, appreciative crowd was on hand to celebrate Virginia’s greatest athlete — who also happens to be a hometown hero. Groundbreaking speakers included Kate Tweedy (daughter of Secretariat owner Penny Chenery Tweedy), Jocelyn Russell (sculptor of the Secretariat statue), Steve Trivett (Mayor of​ Ashland) and Ann Martin (President of the ...
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  • Gray Machine Threat Poses Risks to Virginia’s Horse Racing Industry
    In the last few months, the issue of Skill games in Virginia has come to a boiling point. After being deemed illegal on July 1st of this year, major players in the skill game industry have been lobbying and sending money to politicians in Virginia with the intention of bringing these machines back online. These unregulated gambling devices not only jeopardize the integrity of gaming in Virginia but also pose serious risks to economic impact of the racing industry and safety in the Commonwealth as a whole. Key concerns regarding gray machines in Virginia: Unregulated Gambling: Gray machines operate outside the purview ...
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  • Stallion True Valour Moves To Virginia
    The following appeared in The Racing Biz Larry Johnson’s Legacy Farm will for the first time stand his graded stakes winner True Valour (Ire) for 2024, as well as his homebred graded stakes winner Street Magician  These decisions are designed to take advantage of the lucrative opportunities for Virginia state-sired horses in which not only are they eligible for the State-bred and State-certified stakes and overnight race bonuses offered at Colonial Downs, but also bonuses of 25% for wins at any track in the Midatlantic! A breeder can foal a Virginia-sired horse anywhere (and be eligible for the foaling state’s bonus program) ...
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  • Virginia 2024 Racing Schedule Includes Seven NSA Sanctioned Jump Meets & Point-to-Points  
    Virginia Gold Cup Adds a Grade 1 Stakes to its May 4 Date Virginia’s horse racing event calendar for 2024 is set and in addition to dates at Colonial Downs (thoroughbred) and Shenandoah Downs (harness), seven spring Point-to-Point (PTP) meets along with seven National Steeplechase Association (NSA) sanctioned meets –- three in spring and four in fall — fill in the calendar.  The Rappahannock PTP kicks the season off March 2 at The Hill in Boston with a rain date of the following Saturday, March 9.  Additional meets in March include Warrenton Hunt PTP March 16 at the Airlie Race Course, the Piedmont ...
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  • Secretariat “Racing Into History” Monument Groundbreaking & Dedication Dates Set
    The Secretariat For Virginia Committee (SECVA) of the Ashland Museum has announced the dates for the groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies for the “Secretariat Racing Into History” monument.   The groundbreaking ceremony for the Reynolds Family Plaza at Randolph-Macon College, where the magnificent bronze will be permanently installed, will take place on Wednesday February 7 at the site at 11:00 am. The event is free and open to the public.    The Secretariat Monument “Racing Into History” will be installed and ready for dedication by March 30.  Secretariat was born on that date in 1970 at Meadow Stable, which was founded by Christopher Chenery, formerly of ...
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  • Virginia Breeders Share in $1,850,000 in Bonus Award Monies in 2023 
    Virginia’s breeders benefitted from a continued business boom in 2023 courtesy of Historical Horse Racing (HHR) revenues at seven Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums located around the state and the continued renaissance of the Colonial Downs thoroughbred meet in New Kent which is expected to grow to 40 days in 2025. Virginia breeder’s bonus monies distributed in 2023 nearly doubled that of levels from just two years ago — $1,850,000 versus $975,000 in 2021. Up until the 2022 campaign, bonus money had been paid for the win position only from races anywhere in North America. In the last two years (and moving forward) ...
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  • 19 Standardbred Stallions Scheduled to Stand in Virginia for 2024 Breeding Season  
    (WOODSTOCK, VA —- 1/11/2024) —- The Virginia Harness Horse Association (VHHA), which introduced a lucrative Sired Stakes program in 2022, announced that 19 stallions will be standing in the state for the 2024 breeding season. Twelve stallions stood in the Commonwealth two years ago and prior to that, just four stood including Gregory Pecs who passed away in December.  Twelve trotting stallions and seven pacing stallions, including three new ones, will stand at farms across the state this year –- east, west, north and south.    Dr. Butch will stand in Virginia for the second straight season. He will be based in ...
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  • Leif Dickinson Named Director Of Track Operations At Colonial Downs
    Dickinson will be instrumental in the daily management of the course in New Kent, Virginia, while working closely with Track Superintendents on development and maintenance at other CDI-owned racetracks. Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or the “Company”) announced Tuesday that Leif Dickinson has been named Director of Track Operations at Colonial Downs Racetrack. In this role, Dickinson will be instrumental in the daily management of the course in New Kent, Virginia, while working closely with Track Superintendents on development and maintenance at other CDI-owned racetracks including the Company’s flagship Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. “I’m very excited to join the team at ...
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  • 73 Horse Racing Events Scheduled in 2024; Here’s the Lineup
    The 2024 horse racing season in Virginia is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever! Daylight hours are getting more abundant little by little so it’s time to think spring — and beyond. This year, there will be 73 racing performances — 32 days of harness racing, 27 days of thoroughbred racing, 7 NSA sanctioned steeplechase meets and 7 Point-to-Point meets. It’s time to mark your calendars! Saturday March 2 – Rappahannock Hunt Point-to-Point at The Hill in Boston, VA (rain date is Saturday March 9). Saturday March 16 – Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point at the Airlie Race Course in Warrenton.  Saturday ...
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  • Maryland Racetrack Operating Authority Report Released
    The following appeared in The Racing Biz January 5th and was written by Frank Vespe. A pair of reports commissioned by the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority released Jan. 5 outline a very different future for Maryland racing. How precisely to get to that future? That’s a bit less clear. That future portends a consolidation of racing operations at a rebuilt Pimlico Race Course, the creation of a training center to accommodate additional horses, and the replacement of the current private, for-profit ownership structure with a state-owned, non-profit-managed arrangement. Preakness Day at Pimlico. During the Baltimore track’s complete renovation, the Preakness ...
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