The point of the bonus paid to Virginia-bred/sired horses that run in open races is to encourage folks to run these horses at Colonial Downs while increasing the earning power and marketability of all Virginia-breds. Last year, the bonus was 100%, but was limited to winners only.

Acknowledging how hard it is to win a race (even in smaller fields) and the general economics of today’s world, the Virginia Breeders Fund wanted to put more money in more owners’ hands while positevly impacting more breeders’ broodmares and produce.

With limited funds preventing us from paying the 100% bonus to all purse earners, the Breeders Fund compromised and reduced the bonus to 60% payable to the first four finshers in open races.

For the first ten days of the meet in 2009, 132 registered Virginia-bred/sired horses ran at Colonial Downs winning 16 races and earning $118,842 from the purse account and an additional $105,342 from the Breeders Fund.

In 2010, the number of bonuses paid has almost quadrupled from 16 to 61. The total number of starters has declined 9% from 132 to 120, but the totals earned have increased as the bonuses have been paid to horses finishing first through fourth.

For the first ten days of 2010, Virginia-bred/sired horses have earned $182,350 from the purse account and $109,398 from the Breeders Fund.

These figures do not include restricted races (four in the first ten days) or the John D. Marsh Stakes or Oakley Stakes.