A Secretariat license plate may be issued this year in Virginia if 350 orders are received in 2003. Passed by the Virginia General Assembly, the license plate will feature the postage stamp image of Secretariat that was issued after his Triple Crown victories.
The first steps of expanding handle in Virginia over the next five years were taken July 1 when the Virginia Racing Commission reviewed an application for a second off-track wagering center in Richmond.
The first day of July brought two new track records to Colonial Downs near New Kent, Va. After a sprinkler malfunctioned, all nine of the Tuesday's scheduled races were run on the main track.
Racing fans in Virginia probably will have more outlets at which to place wagers in the coming months. New off-track betting parlors and account wagering are expected to increase handle in Virginia, and ultimately lead to more racing days at Colonial Downs.
Full fields are expected when Colonial Downs opens its doors Friday. Colonial's 30-day meet runs through July 22nd on a Friday through Tuesday schedule with 1 p.m. post times on Saturday and Sunday and 5 p.m. post during the week. There is a special Thursday card on July 3.
Several Triple Crown contenders are among the nominees for the $500,000 Virginia Derby, centerpiece of the upcoming meet at Colonial Downs. The turf event is scheduled for July 12.
A sign that hung at Meadow Farm, a painting and photos ripped out of their frames, and dishes were among the items that were signed by Penny Chenery, Ron Turcotte, Jim Gaffney, and Bill Nack at the Secretariat celebration held Saturday in Caroline County, Virginia.
Colonial Downs will host "Race into Reading," a book-signing session on June 15. Six authors will be at the track to autograph copies of their latest titles.
Colonial Downs racetrack in Virginia will give away two bobbleheads in June--jockey Ryan Fogelsonger on June 14 and trainer Ferris Allen on June 28.
When patrons arrive at Colonial Downs this summer for live racing, there will be a few changes, said John Mooney, general manager of Colonial Downs and president of the Maryland-Virginia Racing Circuit.
Across the board purse increases in stakes races along with the return of the $500,000 Virginia Derby highlight Colonial Downs' 2003 Thoroughbred stakes schedule
Virginia Horse Center executive director Robert Morris Reel died March 1
While many Virginia horsemen were digging out from the President's Day weekend snowstorm, a bill to rework the Virginia Racing Act cleared the floor of the House of Delegates by a 54-42 vote.
A bill that would issue Secretariat License Plates has been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly. Proceeds from the plates would go to the development of the Secretariat Museum at Meadow Farm in Doswell, the place of Secretariat's birth.
The Virginia Racing Commission Jan. 15 approved a five-year deal between the Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Colonial Downs, and also heard of plans for a $2-million turf festival in the state.
The Maryland Racing Commission voted unanimously Nov. 13 to approve Magna Entertainment Corp. as majority owner of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, turning the spotlight on Magna to begin fulfilling its promise for Maryland racing. The Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown, is a big part of the equation.
The Virginia Racing Commission has withheld approval of Colonial Downs' request for 2003 racing dates because it does not keep with a three-year plan prepared by the commission and the racetrack in 2001.
The Virginia track ended its meet with increases in attendance and handle.
Fresh off of a successful weekend that included the $500,000 Virginia Derby, Colonial Downs officials updated the Virginia Racing Commission July 17 on the progress of its five-week summer meet.
Magna Entertainment has plans to transform Maryland's premier Thoroughbred racetracks into "destination entertainment centers," and apparently expand off-track wagering in the state. At this time, though, officials are reluctant to discuss details.
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.
In what clearly has become one of most interesting race meets in North America, Colonial Downs will kick off its 2002 season the weekend of June 21-23 with 30 races, all of them scheduled for the turf.
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.
Davy Jones, a Thoroughbred owner and former teen idol from the 1960's television classic "The Monkees," is the official spokesman for Colonial Downs in Virginia this season.
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.
The purse for the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs could rise to as much as $500,000 from $200,000 based on a plan presented to the Virginia Racing Commission March 20.
Alice duPont Mills, a longtime Thoroughbred owner and breeder as well as a lifelong philanthropist, died March 13 after a brief illness. She was 83.
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.
An attempt to legalize account wagering and expansion of off-track betting outlets in Virginia failed by a one-vote margin on Wednesday.
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.
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.
Legislation that would remove impediments to horse racing in Virginia passed the state Senate Jan. 29. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Kenneth Stolle, was approved by a 27-12 vote. It now goes to General Laws Subcommittee in the House of Delegates.
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 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.
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.
As soon as Housebuster crossed the state line, he became the leading sire in Virginia and, according to Robert Levy, perhaps the leading sire in the mid-Atlantic. For many who attended the open house at Blue Ridge Farm on Sunday, it was the first time for them to see and welcome Housebuster back to America from Japan.
Colonial Downs was awarded 26 Thoroughbred dates for 2002, and the Virginia track will again race in the summer.
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.
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 showed increases in attendance and handle for its first ever summer Thoroughbred meet that ended Tuesday.
For the fifth consecutive season, Ferris Allen has won -- or at least tied for -- the leading trainer title at Colonial Downs.
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.
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.
In its early stages, the foal loss syndrome appeared to be contained to Kentucky.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has banned horses from entering the state if they come directly or indirectly from countries where outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have occurred.
With the first case of foot-and-mouth disease confirmed in Ireland, and the British government now saying the situation will last for months, the scope of the highly contagious disease continues to widen.
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