• Colonial Downs Eyeing Former Kmart Site In South Richmond For Possible Off Track Betting Parlor Colonial Downs is considering buying a former Kmart building in South Richmond and transforming it into a betting site with slots-like gambling machines, according to a spokesman for the owners of the New Kent County horse-racing track. Colonial Downs has secured an option to buy the 140,000 square-foot building at 6807 Midlothian Turnpike, but the sale could depend on whether Colonial Downs wins state and local approvals to install hundreds of historical horse racing machines in the former big-box store. “The location on Midlothian Turnpike in the City of Richmond is attractive to us as a potential site for Historical Horse Racing ... Read more
  • Draft Rules Would Allow Up To 3,000 Horse-Race Gambling Machines In Virginia The following appeared in the Richmond Times Dispatch on July 12th. The Virginia Racing Commission is considering allowing up to 3,000 historical horse race gambling machines at Colonial Downs and off-track betting parlors throughout the state, according to recently published draft regulations. Earlier this year, Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill to legalize the slots-like machines as a way to revitalize the state’s struggling horse racing industry, despite opposition from critics who called it a major expansion of gambling. To ease those concerns, the governor instructed the racing commission to come up with “reasonable limitations” on the machines, which let players gamble faster ... Read more
  • Maryland Jockey Club Names New Racing Secretary; VP-Racing Hale Named To New Position The following appeared in The Racing Biz July 2nd. by Frank Vespe The Maryland Jockey Club on Monday announced that longtime Vice-President of Racing and Racing Secretary Georganne Hale would become Vice President of Racing Development, a newly created position within the company. In that job, the company said, she will oversee the revitalization of the Washington, DC International turf race; assist with the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series; and “lead and monitor philanthropic initiatives with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Beyond the Wire, and Canter for a Cause while serving as a liaison for backstretch programs.”     Hale’s position as racing secretary will be filled ... Read more
  • Jonathan Thomas’s Catholic Boy Battles Back Again To Win Belmont Derby Invitational Congratulations to Belmont Derby Invitational winner Catholic Boy and his trainer, Jonathan Thomas, who is the son of Virginia Equine Alliance’s Track Superintendent, J.D. Thomas! The following article appeared in The Paulick Report July 8th.  The last time Catholic Boy and Analyze It met in the Pennine Ridge, Analyze It took the lead only to have Catholic Boy wrest is back from him in the final strides. In Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational, those two made the turn for home in unison, leading to a thrilling stretch battle. Catholic Boy (5-1) had set the pace, but Analyze It (2-1) came ... Read more
  • No Refunds Becomes First Bonus Winning Horse In New Virginia Certified Residency Program Bird Mobberley’s No Refunds became the first horse to win a bonus in the new Virginia Certified Residency Program when the two year old filly kicked off Saturday’s card at Laurel with her first ever victory. The Maryland-bred scored in gate-to-wire fashion in a $40,000 maiden special weight race. The winner, by Buffum out of More Punch by Partner’s Hero, held off runner-up Nosey Josy and finished 1 1/4 lengths the best at the 5 1/2 furlong distance. No Refunds  reached the winners circle in her fourth attempt. She had a pair of runner-ups in April and May and a fifth in June, all at Maryland tracks and all in the same class. “Winning the first bonus from the ... Read more
  • Middleburg’s National Sporting Library A Treasure For Students Of Racing History The following appeared in The Paulick Report July 3rd and was written by Natalie Voss. These days, it seems the answer to almost any question of Thoroughbred history can be found either in the stacks of the Keeneland Library or the archives at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. But there was a time when your average fan or journalist couldn’t access either. In the 1950s, Virginia horseman George Ohrstrom saw this as a problem. Over the years, Ohrstrom, a book collector himself, became concerned at how difficult it was for people outside academia to access historical works about ... Read more
  • Virginia-Bred Long On Value Up Late For Grade I Highlander Victory The following appeared in The Paulick Report June 30th. At seven years of age, Madaket Stable, Ten Strike Racing and Steve Laymon’s Long On Value earned his first Grade 1 victory in Saturday’s Highlander Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse. The intact son of Value Plus ran down filly Lady Alexandra to win by about a neck on the wire, completing six furlongs over the firm turf in 1:07.13. Ridden by Florent Geroux and trained by Brad Cox, Long On Value’s win as the 2-1 favorite earned him an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint this fall at Churchill Downs. Both Axtell ... Read more
  • One Go All Go To Battle In Saturday’s Grade I United Nations Stakes At Monmouth Virginia-bred One Go All Go, who has earned over $358,000 this year alone, will make his 8th start of 2018 in the Grade I United Nations Stakes at Monmouth on Saturday. The 6 year old Fairbanks horse seems to be improving with age. He captured the Grade 2 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes April 12th at Keeneland, and was runner-up in a trio of Grade 2 stakes earlier in the year — the Fort Lauderdale, Pan American and Mac Diarmida Stakes. He has also competed in a trio of Grade I events. One Go All Go was fourth in the Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes, third in the ... Read more
  • Million Dollar Earning Virginia-Bred Long On Value Set To Compete In Grade I Highlander Stakes On Saturday Long On Value gallops at Woodbine Michael Burns   Cox Eyes Highlander Repeat With Veteran Long On Value The 7-year-old turf contender will chase grade 1 glory June 30 at Woodbine. The longevity of Long On Value can be attributed in part to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who guided the son of Value Plus through his transition from dirt to turf and managed 27 of his 31 starts, including victories in the 2014 Twilight Derby (G2T) and 2015 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3T). But credit for the 7-year-old’s resurgence this season must go to Brad Cox, who sent his new contender out to a sharp score June 2 in ... Read more
  • Trainer/Owner Bonus Award Standings For 2018 Virginia-Bred/Sired Events At Laurel Park Announced The first series of races in the 2018 Virginia-bred/sired stakes race program being held at Laurel Park are now complete, and updated trainer and owner standings for both bonus award divisions have been announced. A maiden special weight race and the “Commonwealth Day’ card kicked the series off respectively on June 15th and 23rd. A $40,000 maiden race for fillies & mares was first, followed by a four-pack of $75,000 stakes that were contested on “Commonwealth Day” and included The Edward Evans, White Oak Farm, Tyson Gilpin and Nellie Mae Cox Stakes. Respective winners, along with their trainer and owner were: Maiden (F/M) – Altamura (John Stephens; Fred Seitz, Danny Ward & John Stephens) Edward Evans – ... Read more