• NSA President Dr. Al Griffin Addresses 2020 Steeplechase Schedule The following appeared on the website www.nationalsteeplechase.com April 8 and is a letter from NSA President Dr. Al Griffin Dear Steeplechase Family, The members of the National Steeplechase Association Board of Directors and I hope that you are safe and well in these most difficult of times. None of us have experienced anything like this coronavirus pandemic in our lifetimes. We have all been affected in so many ways by this global crisis. We are small business owners, horse owners, trainers, and race-meet officials. You have questions, we know, and we want to answer them to the extent that we can in ... Read more
  • MATCH Series For 2020 Canceled; Stakes Were Scheduled For Aug. 15 At Colonial Downs The following speared on the MATCH Series website on April 8, 2020. It was written by Tom LaMarra. Colonial Downs had been scheduled to host a round of five $100,000 MATCH Series stakes races on Saturday August 15.  The partners in the highly acclaimed Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships Series (MATCH), during an April 7 meeting, agreed to cancel the 2020 edition of the Series given the ongoing uncertainty of racing schedules and concerns about available purse money in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown. The Series, which has established itself as a popular part of the Mid-Atlantic racing calendar, was set to debut ... Read more
  • Chowda Tops List of First Quarter Bonus Winners In VTA’s Certified Residency Program Chowda, a 3-year-old Virginia-Certified colt, who was one of 108 horses to win a bonus award in the first quarter of 2020 as part of the VTA’s residency program initiative. The New York bred earned a capped reward of $10,000 — highest of any — from a victory in the $100,000 Gander Stakes (black-type) at Aqueduct where he was sent off at 15-1 odds. The Gary Sciacca trainee is 2-for-2 this year and overall, has bankrolled $142,793 from six starts. He scored at Aqueduct previously in a January allowance race where he earned a $9,240 reward, and in a maiden special ... Read more
  • William Backer Estate Named Top 2019 Virginia Breeder; Award Winners Announced Daily Since the annual Virginia Breeders Awards ceremony and Virginia Gold Cup Races were pushed back to the weekend of June 19-20 at Great Meadow, we will announce a  different 2019 award winner each day over a 14 day period. We’ll also post it to the Virginia Thoroughbred Association’s facebook page. Today’s (April 9) award winner is: Top Virginia Breeder – William Backer Revocable Estate. The Backer Estate’s 2019 resume is most impressive — a total of 21 victories, three stakes wins including a Grade I score, and $124,335 in Virginia Breeders Fund bonus monies. Out for a Spin, winner of the ... Read more
  • Kimaru Builds The Legend of Gone West, Speightstown Sire Line The following appeared in The Paulick Report on April 7. The past couple of months have been uncommonly successful demonstrations of the sire talent belonging to the Ashford Stud stallion Munnings (by Speightstown), and on April 4, the horse added another stakes victory with Kimari in the Purple Martin Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The success for that 3-year-old filly comes on the heels of graded stakes winners Bonny South (Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks), Warrior’s Charge (G3 Razorback Handicap), Finite (G2 Rachel Alexandra), and Venetian Harbor (G2 Las Virgenes), plus numerous place-getters in stakes events around the globe. Nor has sire Speightstown been ... Read more
  • Embolden Named Top 2019 Virginia-Bred/Sired 2-Year-Old Male; Award Winners Announced Daily Since the annual Virginia Breeders Awards ceremony and Virginia Gold Cup Races were pushed back to the weekend of June 19-20 at Great Meadow, we will announce a 2019 award winner each day over a 14 day period. We’ll also post it to the Virginia Thoroughbred Association’s facebook page. Today’s (April 6) award winner is: Top Virginia-Bred/Sired 2-Year-Old Male – Embolden. The Nancy Terhune and Ernest Frohboese-bred colt had “top three” finishes in all six of his 2019 starts on the way to bankrolling $181,000 in purse monies. Two of those were wins at Colonial Downs — one on opening day and ... Read more
  • Green Group Breaks Down Impact Of Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act On Racing Industry The following appeared in Thoroughbred Daily News on March 31. By Len Green Editor’s note: The Thoroughbred racing industry is covered under legislation passed in Washington to bolster an economy that has been hard hit by the coronavirus. To clarify what is available to racing participants, the NTRA held a teleconference Wednesday which included tax experts who serve the racing industry. To break down what is available and who qualifies for assistance, the TDN asked Green Group Founder and Chairman Len Green to go over the CARES Act and its provisions. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) became law ... Read more
  • Virginia Equine Alliance Executive Director Jeb Hannum Addresses Status Of Racing In 2020 Jeb Hannum is Executive Director of the Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) which is made up of four member groups: The Virginia Thoroughbred Association (VTA), Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, the Virginia Harness Horse Association (VHHA) and the Virginia Gold Cup Races. Given the unknown in regards to the Coronavirus pandemic, any thoughts you can share with the equine community in Virginia? Sadly, each day it seems to get a little bit worse for the racing industry and other equine events. The steeplechase community is trying very hard to have a series of races in the late spring but even now that ... Read more
  • NTRA Update on Federal Response to Coronavirus Pandemic Below is a letter from Alex Waldrop, NTRA President and CEO. The NTRA’s site has many helpful links to alert horsemen of various issues related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Access is available at www.ntra.com/covid-19/  NTRA Update on Federal Response to Coronavirus Pandemic March 26, 2020 Like virtually every other industry and sport, U.S. horseracing is grappling with the realities and uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of businesses and individuals – from farms to racetrack employees, trainers, and the backstretch workers who care for our horses – have had their lives disrupted in ways we could not have imagined only a ... Read more
  • Annual Controlled Burn Of Colonial’s Secretariat Turf Course Took Place March 30 At a time when everyone is seeking signs of a return to normalcy in the months ahead, Colonial Downs, in conjunction with the New Kent Fire Department and Virginia Department of Forestry, conducted a controlled burn of its Secretariat Turf Course Monday. The burn began at 4 PM under sunny skies and breezy conditions. This annual burn helps prepare and nurture the country’s widest grass racing surface for a six-week summer thoroughbred season which is scheduled to begin July 23 and continue through August 29. The burn itself takes dead “cover” off the turf in a rapid manner and allows it to ... Read more