Democracy at work.

Today, the Virginia Racing Commission (VRC) approved a 33 day live meet at Colonial Downs for 2011 by a unanimous vote of 4-0.  The meet will be conducted as proposed by a joint submission of Colonial Downs, the VHBPA, and the VTA.

The meet will run from Wednesday, June 8th (leading up to Belmont Day on June 11th) to Sunday, July 31, 2011 — 8 weeks, four days per week.  Racing will be conducted on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday with a 5pm post time on all days, except Sunday (1pm).  There will be one special day of racing — July 4th with a post time of 1pm.  The day prior, July 3rd, will offer a 5pm post as opposed to the normal 1pm Sunday post.

Overnite purses are expected to average about $2,400 more per race than last year due to the fewer days — 33 days instead of last year’s 40 days. The barn area opens on May 25th. Stall applications are due by April 30th. A copy of the stall application can be downloaded on the VHBPA website and Colonial’s website.

At a special meeting last weekCommissioner Clinton Miller had been elected the new Chairman to replace Peter Burnett.  The VRC also introduced former Kentucky Racing Commission Executive Director Bernard J. Hettel who they have hired to be their new Executive Secretary replacing Vic Harrison who resigned some months ago.

To see Nick Hahn’s Bloodhorse article about changes for Colonial’s summer meet click here.  To see Nick’s article on the appointment of Bernie Hettel click here.