from Colonial Downs
With a little more than a week remaining until the start of the 2002 Thoroughbred meet, and stall assignments nearly completed, the Colonial Downs racing office is expecting more than 90 trainers to stable horses at the New Kent County, Va., racetrack.
Live racing begins June 21 with a 1 p.m. EDT post time and runs on a Friday-through-Tuesday schedule through July 23. The $500,000 Virginia Derby, a grass event for 3-year-olds, is set for July 13. Daily purses will average $200,000.
A. Ferris Allen III leads the list of familiar trainers returning to Colonial Downs for the sixth season and second summer meet. Allen, a native of Virginia, has been leading trainer for the past five years, and shared the title in 1998 with Hamilton Smith.
Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard has requested 10 stalls. Sheppard has won two Virginia Derbies, in 1998 with Crowd Pleaser, and last year with Potaro.
Graham Motion returns with a strong stable. Equality, his star 3-year-old, recently made his turf debut in a $55,000 stakes at Delaware in near track-record time. The Mt. Livermore colt is of one a number of graded stakes winners on the list of Virginia Derby nominees. Last year, Motion's Bay Eagle finished second to Potaro in the Virginia Derby.
Smith, a top-five trainer at Colonial Downs each of the last four years, has booked a large block of stalls for the meet. Also returning is Lilith Boucher, who trained Class Yankee to two Virginia-bred stakes victories last season.
Ben Feliciano returns this year with horses for Richard Englander, currently leading owner in the nation by wins. Among the many other familiar trainers returning this year are John Scanlan, Dave Sipe, Lori Testerman and Tom Voss.
Expected newcomers to Colonial Downs include Linda Rice from New York, Kentucky trainer Eric Reed, and Ron Voss from New Jersey.