• Virginia Gold Cup’s Dr. Al Griffin Elected NSA President The following piece appeared on nationalsteeplechase.com and was written by Don Clippinger. Dr. Alfred C. Griffin Jr., the co-chair of the Virginia Gold Cup who played a key role in keeping pari-mutuel racing alive in his home state during Colonial Downs’ closure, was elected president of the National Steeplechase Association at Friday’s NSA Board of Directors meeting. The Warrenton, Va., orthodontist succeeds Guy J. Torsilieri, who was elected as the NSA’s chairman. Torsilieri, who served as the NSA’s president for 11 years before declining to seek another term, was elected as the NSA’s chairman. He succeeds Beverly R. Steinman, who retired from ... Read more
  • Secretariat 50th Birthday Celebration To Be Held At Meadow Event Park March 28 On March 30, 1970, a legend was born. A fiery red colt named Secretariat took his first breath in a foaling shed at Christopher Chenery’s Meadow Stable in Caroline County, Virginia. In 1973, he left the world breathless with his spectacular and incomparable Triple Crown. On March 28, 2020, Secretariat’s birthplace, now known as The Meadow Event Park, will be the site of the official celebration honoring the immortal champion’s 50th birthday and his enduring legacy. Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of the late, beloved Penny Chenery, will be the celebrity host for the event, which runs from ... Read more
  • MATCH Series Returns With Expanded Schedule In 2020 To Include Colonial Downs Colonial Downs will play host to 5 MATCH Series races on Saturday August 15. Here are the respective divisions and races in New Kent: *3-Year-Old & Up Fillies/Mares Turf Division: $100,000 Old Nelson Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf *3-Year-Old Sprint Dirt Division: $100,000 Victory Gallop Stakes at 7 furongs *3-Year-Old & Up Fillies/Mares Sprint Dirt Division: $100,000 Seeking The Pearl Stakes at 7 furlongs *3-Year-Old & Up Sprint Turf Division: $100,000 Da Hoss Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs *3-Year-Old & Up Sprint Dirt Division: $100,000 Chesapeake Stakes at 7 furlongs Here is an article written by Tom Lamarra that appeared on the ... Read more
  • Virginia Racing Commission Eliminates License Fees For Racing Participants Beginning In 2020 Richmond, VA — In an effort to ease the financial burden of horsemen racing in multiple jurisdictions and encourage more horsemen to participate in the Commonwealth, the Virginia Racing Commission voted unanimously to eliminate license fees beginning on January 1, 2020. The license forms and instructions may be downloaded from our website by clicking on “Virginia Racing License” on the left-hand side of the homepage.  Applications may be emailed prior to the live meet to avoid waiting in line at the Commission office.  The VRC will issue all participants a three-year license. Please note: all participants must be fingerprinted once upon making their ... Read more
  • Virginia Wagering Handle On Horse Racing Tops $1 Billion In 2019 Total Virginia pari-mutuel handle on horse racing for 2020 exceeded $1 billion for the first time ever thanks to the implementation of Historical Horse Racing terminals at four Rosie’s Gaming Emporium sites across the Commonwealth. That, combined with on line betting handle from four partner providers, handle at four VA-Horseplay Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers, and handle generated from live race meets at Colonial Downs (thoroughbred), Shenandoah Downs (harness) and the Virginia Gold Cup (steeplechase), pushed the total figure to $1,203,990,926. The second Rosie’s Gaming Emporium opened in Vinton, just outside of Roanoke. Total HHR handle was $1,078,283,481 from Rosie’s outlets based ... Read more
  • Starter Reward Program Returns For Virginia’s Spring Point-To-Point Series The Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) announced it will fund a starter reward program for Virginia’s spring Point-to-Point race season for a second straight year. The well received initiative began in 2019 and helped increase participation in the two month series. The 2020 schedule begins March 7 with the Rappahannock Hunt Point-to-Point and concludes April 26 with the Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point. Menacing Dennis (ridden by Shane Crimin) and Feisty (ridden by Jacob Roberts) compete in the Orange County Point-to-Points’s Open Hurdle on March 31st. Photo by Douglas Lees. Program details are straightforward. Every time a Virginia-owned or Virginia-trained horse makes a start in ... Read more
  • Six Millionaire Horses Including Sadler’s Joy Among 17 Invitees To Pegasus World Cup Turf The following appeared in The Paulick Report January 5. Pegasus World Cup Day at Miami’s Gulfstream Park, scheduled for Saturday January 25, traditionally is the first major stakes race day of the year. Gulfstream will host 9 stakes on the card, 6 of which are graded. Headline event is the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (Gr. I) followed by the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (Gr. I). Other graded stakes include the $200,000 Inside Information Stakes (Gr. 2) and a trio of Grade 3’s — the W. L. McKnight, the La Prevoyante and the Fred ... Read more
  • Bonuses Announced For Highest Earning 3-Year-Olds That Competed In ’17 Yearling Futurity A total of $5,000 in bonus monies will be distributed to breeders of the 3-year-old horses that have accumulated the most earnings through 2019 and that competed in the VTA’s annual Yearling Futurity at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds.  Foals of 2016 that participated in the 2017 Futurity were eligible for the awards which were announced by Executive Debbie Easter this week. K P Slickem competed in the Sunland Oaks earlier in 2019. Photo courtesy of Sunland Park. K P Slickem, bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, took top spot for the $3,000 bonus based on total earnings of $142,300. The Include filly, ... Read more
  • David Ross’s Extravagant Kid Prevails In Gulfstream’s Janus Stakes The following appeared in the Daily Racing Form December 28. Extravagant Kid, owned by DAARS, Inc (stable name of Virginia HBPA President David Ross), won the Janus Stakes December 28. It was the 6-year-old Kiss The Kid’s 9th “top two” finish in his last nine starts. The winner has bankrolled $324,475 in 2019 and $727,214 in his career (39-12-11-6). Extravagant Kid wins the Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs this summer. Photo by Coady Photography. The versatile Extravagant Kid found the switch from turf to dirt and a drop out of graded stakes company just the right remedy to get back ... Read more
  • Virginia-Bred Bella Aurora On The Rise After Gin Talking Stakes Win The following appeared in The Racing Biz December 28 and was written by Ted Black. Gin Talking Stakes winner Bella Aurora was bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm. On the final stakes card of 2019 at Laurel Park, a pair of stakes events for two-year-olds offered a possible glimpse into the future. The two winners arrived via different paths, but they took the same route to winner’s circle — the overland route. In the $100,000 Gin Talking Stakes for two-year-old fillies traveling seven furlongs, an event that appeared wide open on paper, Bella Aurora and jockey Julian Pimentel rallied from the rear of the ... Read more