• Colonial Downs’ Summer Racing Season To Begin July 27; Virginia Derby Night is September 1 The 2020 Colonial Downs summer thoroughbred racing season will kick off Monday July 27 — four days later than originally planned — and continue through September 2 with racing every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 5:30 PM. The 18-day season originally was scheduled to run July 23 – August 29 with race days of Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the same post time. Track officials repositioned the race days to stay away from other major summer weekend simulcast signals like Saratoga and Del Mar. With the effort to maximize exposure to online horseplayers, Colonial Downs could be a very attractive signal ... Read more
  • Many Of The Nation’s Racetracks Return To Action As Summer Nears; Online Betting Is Available As summer weather nears, things are getting back to a new normal for horseplayers around the country as more and more thoroughbred and harness tracks open every day. Though on track spectators are not allowed, simulcast signals from every track are available to watch and wager online. Virginia residents can wager via these four industry partners: TVG.com, Xpressbet.com, Twinspires.com and NYRABets.com. Thoroughbred tracks currently available are Santa Anita, Churchill Downs, Golden Gate, Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream, Charles Town, Mountaineer, Assiniboia, Lone Star, Laurel, Fort Erie and Belmont. Later in the week, Thistledown, Belterra, Evangeline and Woodbine begin. Later in the month, ... Read more
  • Safety Standards In Effect For Upcoming Virginia NSA Meets In Middleburg & Great Meadow The following appeared at www.nationalsteeplechase.com  The National Steeplechase Association’s spring race meets, the Middleburg Spring Races on June 13 and the Virginia Gold Cup on June 27, will be conducted under health and safety best practices mandated by the Virginia Department of Health to control the spread of the new coronavirus and the disease that it causes, COVID-19. The Department of Health detailed the standards for outdoor racetracks as part of its Phase 1 reopening under the Forward Virginia program. Attendance will be limited to trainers with horses in the races, handlers, jockeys, essential race-meet officials and personnel, veterinarians, and meet physicians. Owners ... Read more
  • Extravagant Kid Proves the Man in Churchill Turf Sprint The following appeared in bloodhorse.com May 29. Extravagant Kid is owned by Virginia businessman David Ross, who is President of the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (HBPA). Ross claimed the horse for $75,000 in January, 2018. Since then, Extravagant Kid has won $561,925 in purse monies.  The Kiss the Kid gelding outran fellow stakes winners Leinster and Wellabled. By Byron King Extravagant Kid didn’t have the Breeders’ Cup experience of some of his rivals in the eighth race May 29 at Churchill Downs, but he had the necessary class and determination. Closing from midpack under Joel Rosario, the 7-year-old Kiss the Kid gelding ... Read more
  • Colonial Downs Considering A Revised Racing Schedule The following appeared in The Racing Biz May 29 and was written by Nick Hahn. While public attention has centered on racetracks that ought to be open but aren’t, Colonial Downs’s July 23 opening is fast approaching, too, and Virginia horsemen are awaiting Governor Ralph Northam’s green light to return live racing this summer. Racing officials are looking to provide an encore to last year’s successful return of live thoroughbred racing in Virginia with the reopening of Colonial Downs. As several tracks across the country have shuttered, sanitized and are re-opening their doors, a few adjustments to the upcoming Colonial Downs racing ... Read more
  • Middleburg Spring Races Set To Run June 13 & Virginia Gold Cup Races Set To Run June 27, Both Without Spectators NSA Official Notices Friday, May 29, 2020  NSA Spring Race Schedule: Please see the attached conditions for the Middleburg Spring Races and the Virginia Gold Cup. Both the Middleburg Spring Races and the Virginia Gold Cup will be run under NSA Rules and will be held without spectators. An NSA license is the only requirement to participate at these race meets. The specific protocols for participants at both the Middleburg Spring Races and the Virginia Gold Cup will be forthcoming. Middleburg Spring Races Entries for Middleburg close next Monday, June 1. Substitute Race for Middleburg and Virginia Gold Cup (Ratings Handicap Hurdle) Purse $25,000. Hurdle ... Read more
  • Laurel Park To Resume Live Racing May 30 The following appeared in bloodhorse.com May 28 and was written by Meredith Daugherty.  In a May 28 meeting of the Maryland Racing Commission, members unanimously approved the decision to open Laurel Park to resume live racing beginning May 30. Simulcast, intertrack, and common pool wagering are approved to begin as early as May 29. The Laurel Park summer meet will encompass 28 days of racing starting May 30 and ending Aug. 22. Racing will be held on a Friday and Saturday basis without the presence of spectators. Any changes to the decision to open the grounds to fans is dependent upon a ... Read more
  • Whenever It Gets the Go-Ahead, Rosie’s Bets On Safe Reopening – By Invitation, With Masks The following article appeared on richmond.com May 20 and was written by Michael Martz.  Colonial Downs Group is ready to enter the starting gate for reopening Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in Richmond and three other Virginia localities, but it plans to run a much different business than before the coronavirus pandemic shut down gaming and other recreational venues. People will be “invited” to make reservations to visit Rosie’s locations in South Richmond, New Kent and Roanoke counties, and Hampton, under the company’s plan. They’ll have two hours to play the historical horse racing machines before cleaning crews return to scour every potentially contaminated ... Read more
  • On Line Betting Handle In Virginia Is Up 23% So Far In 2020 There may not be any fans trackside, but mainstay ovals like Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs and Oaklawn that host late winter/early spring meets have been posting record betting handles the past two months solely from on line wagering. Fonner Park and Will Rogers Downs — lesser known tracks to east coast players — have experienced similar record shattering marks. Despite the lack of U.S. horse racing product available to wager due to the covid-19 pandemic, a large audience has embraced the handful of tracks that have been able to run. Through the first four months of 2020, handle from Virginia ... Read more
  • Top 2019 Virginia-Owned Horse Bellafina Returns to Winners Circle At Santa Anita The following appeared in bloodhorse.com May 17 and was written by Meredith Daugherty. Bellafina, who won the Desert Stormer Stakes, earned Top Virginia-Owned Horse honors in 2019. The Kentucky-bred filly is co-owned by Virginia businessman Kaleem Shah who previously won this category in 2015 with Dortmund. Bellafina bankrolled $858,725 last year from a stellar campaign that included a three stakes wins at Santa Anita — the Grade 2 Santa Ynez and Las Virgenes, and the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks. In 10 starts at California tracks — that include Del Mar and Los Alamitos as well — she has 7 ... Read more