Colonial Downs

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Magna Gets Approval to Operate Colonial Downs

The Virginia Racing Commission approved Wednesday an application that allows Maryland Racing Inc. to acquire a majority interest of the Colonial Downs operator's license. Maryland Racing is owned by Magna Entertainment Corp. With the approval, Magna Entertainment's purchase of Laurel Park and Pimlico can be finalized.

Maryland Racing Dates Approved

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The Maryland Racing Commission approved the 2003 racing schedule at its monthly meeting. Live racing will be conducted on 220 days at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park next year. The 128th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is May 17 at Pimlico.

Virginia Derby Purse Boost Attracts Top Trainers

It's nothing new: put up the money and they will show up to run. Colonial Downs has done that, raising the purse for Saturday's Virginia Derby to $500,000, which attracted the attention of such trainers as Bill Mott and Neil Drysdale.

Colonial Downs Expects Plenty of Horses for Meet

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.

Virginia Derby Purse Hike Approved By Panel

The Virginia Racing Commission has approved a request that would allow Colonial Downs to become a guarantor of the debt of its parent company, Gameco. The proposal is part of a long-range plan that increases the purse of the Virginia Derby to $500,000 for at least three years.

Colonial Downs Sets Summer Meet

Dates for the sixth annual Thoroughbred meet at Virginia's Colonial Downs have been confirmed, and for the second straight season racing will occur in the summer months.

Virginia Racing Legislation Clears Another Hurdle

Broad-based legislation on racing issues passed the House of Delegates General Laws Committee Feb. 28 after two sets of amendments were discussed. The bill patroned by Sen. Kenneth Stolle passed with a 16-3 vote late in the afternoon.

Colonial Downs, Virginia Horsemen Have Contract

The Virginia Racing Commission on Feb. 20 approved a contract between Colonial Downs and the Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and also discussed a decline in handle at off-track wagering facilities in the state.

Virginia Pari-Mutuel Bill Clears Senate Committee

Broad legislation that removes impediments to the pari-mutuel industry cleared a Senate committee by a 7-1 vote Jan. 23. Introduced by Sen. Kenneth Stolle, the bill delegates regulatory control of racing dates, provisional licensing, and account wagering to the Virginia Racing Commission.

Colonial Downs Shareholders Approve Privatization

Colonial Downs reported to the Virginia Racing Commission on Wednesday that the plan to privatize Colonial Downs was approved Jan. 10 by shareholders of the company that owns the Virginia track and its off-track betting facilities.

Virginia Racing Has Legislative Wish List

The Virginia Racing Commission may take a more active role in regulating horse racing if the recommendations of a blue-ribbon committee are implemented. The panel suggests a need for more off-track wagering facilities, elimination of a law that mandates 150 live racing dates by 2006, and addition of account wagering.

Virginia Plan Irks Maryland Commissioner

At the Aug. 30 Maryland Racing Commission meeting at Ocean Downs, commissioner Terry Saxon erupted in anger over a letter from Colonial Downs president Ian Stewart in regard to the Virginia track's plan to apply for another summer meet next year.

Colonial Downs: More Summer Racing Planned for 2002

Fresh off a successful 2001 summer meet at Colonial Downs, members of the Virginia Racing Task Force are looking forward to the 2002 Thoroughbred meet. They told the Virginia Racing Commission Wednesday they hope to race again in the summer.

Colonial Downs Figures Up

Colonial Downs showed increases in attendance and handle for its first ever summer Thoroughbred meet that ended Tuesday.

Colonial's Privatization Plan OK'd by Commission

The plan to privatize Colonial Downs moved a step closer to fruition Tuesday when the Virginia Racing Commission, after a public hearing and about an hour of deliberation, voted 3-2 to allow the acquisition of Colonial Holdings Inc. by Gameco Inc.

Mario "Super" So Far at Colonial

Jockey Mario Pino hit double figures for wins in the last two days of racing at Colonial Downs by following his six-win performance on Monday with four wins Tuesday. For the first five days of the meet that opened July 3, Pino has 15 wins, and by the way, he spent one of those days at Monmonth Park.

Still No Loan, But Colonial Meet Remains on Track

Only weeks before the scheduled opening of its Thoroughbred meet, Colonial Downs still hasn't secured a loan to fund purses for its summer meet. It appears, though, that track owner Jeffrey Jacobs and some horsemen are prepared to provide the funds in the interim.

Virginia Dates OK'd; Three-State Circuit Proposed

The Virginia Racing Commission on Monday approved a revised live racing schedule for Colonial Downs that dovetails with dates in neighboring Maryland. For next year, one racing official has floated a plan to create a three-state circuit -- Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware -- designed to capitalize on each state's assets.

Maryland, Virginia Agree on Summer Schedule

Under the plan approved Wednesday by the Maryland Racing Commission, Thoroughbreds will cease racing in the state from July 8 to Aug. 7. During that period, Colonial Downs, the track in Virginia managed by the Maryland Jockey Club, will run its 25-day meet.

Virginia Plans to Stick With New Schedule

There was little discussion by the Virginia Racing Commission Wednesday about the planned June-July meet at Colonial Downs even though it remains possible there could be racing in Maryland as usual during that period. Colonial Downs gets about 75% of its horses from neighboring Maryland.

Maryland Racing Commission Rejects Plan For Colonial Downs

In a tense meeting that exposed deep divisions within Maryland's racing community, the state racing commission on Wednesday rejected a plan for ceasing Thoroughbred racing for five weeks this summer so that horses can compete in Virginia. The commission voted 6-2 against the proposal advanced by the Maryland Jockey Club and a task force representing segments of the racing industry in Maryland and Virginia. The plan called for Pimlico and Laurel Park to close for racing from June 10 to July 14 while Colonial Downs, the struggling track near Richmond, conducted a 25-day summer Thoroughbred meet.

Maryland Dates Meeting May Be 'Bloodbath'

On Wednesday, representatives of the Maryland Jockey Club will ask the state's racing commission for permission to cease racing at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park for parts of June and July so that Thoroughbreds can race at Colonial Downs. The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association doesn't support the plan.

Maryland Horsemen Want Racing in June, July

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has reiterated its position that live racing shouldn't be suspended in the state in June and July, and that Colonial Downs in Virginia should continue to offer Thoroughbred racing in September and early October.

Pimlico to Race Through June 9, But Then What?

With Colonial Downs in Virginia planning to hold its Thoroughbred meet from June 10-July 14, the Maryland Racing Commission hasn't yet awarded the customary summer dates to Laurel Park. Commission officials said the issue will be resolved at a March meeting after track officials and horsemen agree on a schedule.

Colonial Making Capital Improvements

Colonial Downs reported Wednesday to the Virginia Racing Commission that the track plans a wide range of capital improvement projects, some of which are in preparation for its spring/summer meet. Projects include construction of a $200,000 bathhouse on the backstretch and establishing vegetation for drainage as well as erosion and sediment control throughout the facility. Opening day for the 2001 meet is June 10, with racing continuing through July 14.

Hale Leaves Maryland Jockey Club Post

Veteran racing executive Leonard (Lenny) Hale has left his post as vice president of racing for the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Laurel Park and Pimlico Racecourse. According to a statement from MJC, the organization reached an "amicable parting" as of last Saturday, Jan. 20.

Battle Brews Over Maryland, Virginia Dates

Colonial Downs has received approval to race in June and July this year, but the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association voted earlier in January to maintain the status quo: race in Maryland in June and July, and in Virginia in September. The head of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association says that position hasn't changed, but a board member contends the majority of Maryland horsemen wouldn't mind spending June and July in the Tidewater region.

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