• WE HEARD YOU – UPDATED 2023 VIRGINIA-CERTIFIED RULE CHANGES
    On January 9th, we announced changes to the bonus payout guidelines for the Virginia-Certified and Virginia-Bred owner/developer programs. As we explained in our earlier notice, these programs are funded from revenue generated by Historical Horse Racing (HHR) machines which also fund other aspects of Virginia’s racing program. The Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA), in consultation with the Virginia Thoroughbred Association (VTA) and Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (VAHBPA), has established an annual budget of 4 million dollars for these programs. The plan is to increase funding for these programs once Colonial Downs adds more HHR locations and machines (we hope ...
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  • Two Colonial Downs OTB Managers Celebrate 25 Years of Working Together
    Congratulations to two longtime Virginia horse racing industry employees —- who both started working at the Colonial Downs Off Track Betting Center in Alberta in December, 1997 —- and are still working at Colonial Downs, some 25 years later!  Paulette Coleman and Karen Henson started work the same day that December and neither could have imagined they would still be working together a quarter century later. At the time, pari-mutuel horse racing was still very new to Virginia. Off Track Betting sites first opened in 1996 in Chesapeake and Richmond then the Colonial Downs track itself opened in September, 1997. OTBs on ...
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  • ‘Folks Think We Are Crazy’: Colonial Downs to Switch to Weekend Dates in an Attempt to Draw Better Crowds
    The following appeared on richmond.com December 27, 2022 and was written by Jerry Lindquist. Virginia has never been considered a major player in the world of Thoroughbred horse racing, but recent developments have thrust it into the national spotlight. Famed operator Churchill Downs finalized its purchase of Colonial Downs earlier this year, and did not waste any time making good on its promise to deliver high-stakes racing to the commonwealth. The company is moving two of its Grade 1 stakes races, the highest rating given by the sport’s sanctioning body, to the New Kent track for the 2023 season. The Arlington Million, Beverly ...
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  • Colonial Downs Receives 2023 Race Date Approval That Features a Thursday, Friday & Saturday Schedule
    Colonial Downs race dates for 2023 were approved at the Virginia Racing Commission’s December 14 meeting, and the 27-day, 9-week meet features a move to partial weekend racing after several years of operating on a Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday afternoon schedule. The summer campaign will run from July 13 – September 9 with racing every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 1:30 PM. The 20th running of the $300,000 Grade 3 Virginia Derby is scheduled for closing day, Saturday September 9. A request has also been made to the American Graded Stakes Committee, as of press time, to consider running a pair of Grade 1 stakes, the ...
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  • Jill Byrne Leaving Colonial Downs After “Exhausting, Rewarding’ Tenure
    The following appeared at “theracingbiz.com” December 12 and was written by Nick Hahn. With the November closing of a multistate sale of assets from Peninsula Pacific Entertainment to Churchill Downs, the upcoming Virginia Racing Commission meeting on December 14 will provide new insight into a new era of racing at Colonial Downs. One thing will certainly be different. The new track owners will move forward without Jill Byrne, who served as Colonial’s Vice-President of Racing Operations from its 2019 reincarnation following a six-year stoppage. Under Byrne’s leadership, Colonial attracted a wide array of horses and horsemen, achieved record wagering handle figures, and maintained a ...
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  • VTA Welcomes Patricia Ramey As Its Newest Board Member
    The Virginia Thoroughbred Association is pleased to welcome long-time thoroughbred breeder Patricia Ramey to its Board of Directors. She will be replacing Jim Fitzgerald, who had to resign his seat due to out-of-state work obligations.   Patricia has been involved in Virginia horse racing since 1991. Her Hunt Ridge Stables are based at the Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville — a venue that has served as a horse breeding farm since 1903. The property includes three broodmare stables, two stallion stables, training stables and an implement shed. The property was purchased by Rear Admiral Cary Travers Grayson in 1928 and it is still owned ...
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  • Virginia Certified Filly Crowned Grand Champion in 2022 Virginia Breeders Fund Yearling Futurity 
    The 21st annual Virginia Breeders Fund Yearling Futurity was held September 13 at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds which again saw solid participation from twenty different breeders who were competing for $40,000 in awards. Prize money of $7,500 was distributed that day in each of four classes — VA-Bred/Sired yearling colts/geldings, VA-Bred/Sired yearling fillies, VA-Certified colts/geldings and VA-Certified fillies. Grooms were recognized as well with awards in each division and in the championship class.  A total of $5,000 in bonus monies will also be split between top earning Virginia-Bred/Sired participants at the end of their three-year-old seasons — based on earnings at that time. ...
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  • Amy Moore’s South Gate Farm Making Noise from Saratoga to Keeneland
    Updated: September 1, 2022 at 6:46 pm. This story appeared in Thoroughbred Daily News. Previous Story | Next Story Forte | Susie Raisher By Jessica Martini After a youth spent around horses, Amy Moore took a three-decade long sabbatical from the sport to focus on a career in law, but she is making up for lost time with the launch of her South Gate Farm in Millwood, Virginia. The fledgling operation has a star-in-the-making in ‘TDN Rising Star’ Forte (Violence), who goes postward in Monday’s GI Hopeful S. at Saratoga, and will follow up the following Monday when that colt’s half-brother by Uncle Mo (hip 11) goes through the sales ring ...
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  • Virginia Derby® Day to Feature $1 Million in Purses and a $25,000 “Cash Dash” for Fans
    Day of Family Fun & Cash Dash Drawings Highlight Event on September 6 NEW KENT, Va. (September 1, 2022) – Featuring horses from nationally prominent trainers, Colonial Downs Group is pleased to announce large crowds are expected for the New Kent County Virginia Derby on Tuesday, September 6. The nation’s top turf horses will compete on the widest turf course in North America. Post time is 1:45 p.m.  The day will be highlighted by the grade 3, $300,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby® for 3-year-olds, along with the $200,000 Virginia Oaks® for 3-year-old fillies, both of which will be raced over the renowned Secretariat ...
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  • 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 ...
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