Mark Russell's Charitable Annuity, who won seven of 10 starts including the West Virginia Breeders' Classic last year, was named 2015 West Virginia-Bred Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male.
The West Virginia Racing Commission July 19 signed off on $1,170,000 in funding for purses for the 30th edition of the West Virginia Breeders' Classics Oct. 8 at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Regulators and track executives in West Virginia hope to have about 50% of the starters in two upcoming graded stakes tested out of competition as part of a launch of the program in the state.
Though the numbers will vary depending on revenue generated by video lottery terminals, purse accounts at West Virginia racetracks will take another hit because of a legislature-mandated reduction to help support the fiscal 2016-17 budget.
Horsemen and management at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort June 28 joined forces to assist West Virginians impacted by recent severe flooding that affected many communities in the state.
The West Virginia Racing Commission plans to launch its out-of-competition program in conjunction with the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) Aug. 6 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
Some proposed changes and updates to Thoroughbred racing rules in West Virginia will have to wait almost another year because of an indirect veto by the governor.
Two stakes that guarantee the winners berths in West Virginia Breeders Classics races at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races have been moved from August to September to avoid a conflict with new stakes at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
Was West Virginia's leading third-crop sire
Ongoing issues with track resurfacing and inclement weather have forced Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Racing to cancel racing May 13-14.
Officials with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races told the West Virginia Racing Commission May 11 the usual protocol was followed for a track resurfacing project stalled by rainy weather and the discovery of rocks in the new material.
More than three inches of rain since April 27 has stalled resurfacing of the racetrack at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, which has canceled live racing for May 11-12.
Live racing at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on both May 6 and May 7 has been cancelled because of unforeseen circumstances with scheduled track resurfacing following the Charles Town Classic (gr. II).
Jockey Deshawn Parker won the 5,000th race of his career when he guided heavy favorite Be Nice to victory in the third race May 2 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
First foal for the grade III winner is a West Virginia-bred colt born April 14.
Stanford, who just missed winning the $500,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) in his previous start, got the lion's share of a much bigger pot with a victory in the $1.25 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) April 23.
Imperative and Page McKenney, second and third, respectively, behind Moreno in last year's Charles Town Classic (gr. II), are among 10 older horses entered in the $1.25 million event April 23 at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Horses are back training at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, where more than three months of down time in late fall and winter allowed time for improvements in the barn area.
In keeping with tradition, California-based horses again populate the list of nominees for the $1.25 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II), which this year will be run April 23.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will make a $10,000 donation to CANTER Mid-Atlantic for the eighth consecutive year as part of its Charles Town Classic (gr. II) program April 23.
Pro-racing lawmakers in West Virginia took part in a March 1 Capitol press conference to discuss the economic impact of Thoroughbred racing and breeding given legislation that would decouple live racing from gaming.
Racing interests and their legislative representatives plan a rally March 1 at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston to combat bills that call for the decoupling of live racing from gaming.
The West Virginia Senate Feb. 25 had first reading on legislation that would defund and decouple greyhound racing from gaming but maintain requirements that Thoroughbred racing receive its share of gaming revenue.
Legislation that would restore video lottery terminal-generated purse funds that have been diverted to pay down a workers' compensation debt has been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
Citing "the prolonged impact of the extreme winter weather that moved through the area this past week," Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races' Jan. 29-30 live racing programs have been recheduled for Feb. 2-3.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has released its 2016 racing schedule and, as was the case last year, the West Virginia track will offer 160 programs.
Due to anticipated extreme winter weather, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has canceled live racing for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22-23. Other tracks have canceled at least Friday.
The West Virginia Racing Commission, citing comments it has received, on Jan. 19 voted to conduct an evaluation of the racing surface at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has cancelled live racing for Thursday, Jan. 14 as personnel continue to repair a drainage leak under the track apron that created a hole on the outside rail of the track on Saturday.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Dec. 23 approved the $1.25 million purse for the 2016 Charles Town Classic (gr. II), but the vote wasn't unanimous.
Paul Espinosa will become the full-time track announcer at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races when the 2016 meet begins Jan. 7.
West Virginia's high court has overturned a circuit court decision that vacated a WVRC order to suspend and fine seven jockeys in a 2009 case in which they were permitted to ride over the published weight.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Nov. 18 approved customary live racing dates, but the schedules for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort are expected to be drastically reduced.
The early closure of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia has had a positive impact on Hollywood Casino at Mahoning Valley Race Course, at least for the first six days of its 2015-16 meet.
Two-year-old Hunt N Quest wins third race at Laurel Nov. 6, becomes first winner for West Virginia-based sire Hunt Crossing.
Legislation authorizing advance deposit wagering is on the wish list for a group of racing industry stakeholders in West Virginia, according to a report that was approved by a committee.
Charitable Annuity won the $450,000 West Virginia Breeders' Classic Oct. 10 for owner Mark Russell, whose other entrant, the venerable Russell Road, checked in ninth in his attempt to win the race for a fourth time.
Russell Road and Lucy's Bob Boy -- with 97 starts and nearly $3 million in earnings between them -- will square off for the fourth consecutive year in the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders' Classic Oct. 10 at Charles Town.
A group of West Virginia racing stakeholders has prepared a report on the state of the industry and makes suggestions on how to improve the economics, but when it is approved remains to be seen.
Russell Road, the most popular horse to race at Charles Town Races since Onion Juice in the 1980s, won for the 30th time in a Sept. 19 state-bred handicap to move closer to the $2 million mark in career earnings.
The West Virginia racing industry will pursue several initiatives during the 2016 legislative session, including statutory changes that would lower the minimum number of racing dates for which tracks must apply each year.
Former $5,000 claimer Looks to Spare, a 74-1 shot, outran his odds when he swept past several tough foes to win the $200,000 West Virginia Governor's Cup under DeShawn Parker, the all-time leading rider at Mountaineer.
- By Tom LaMarra
- Thoroughbred Racing, Breeders' Cup, Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Mid-Atlantic Region
Cheyenne Stables and Mac Nichol's Madefromlucky, out of the shadow of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, rallied nicely from off the pace to capture the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) Aug. 1 at Mountaineer.
Midwest Thoroughbreds' champion Work All Week, second in his two races this year after his Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) victory in 2014, got back on track with a win in the Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial Stakes Aug. 1.
A field of 11 that appeared headed for at most seven starters for the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. I) Aug. 1 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort was back up to nine two days before the race.
Racing stakeholders fully understand that having sports betting at tracks in West Virginia is a 90-1 shot. But other things like off-track betting are a bit more realistic as they fashion a wish list to increase revenue.
The West Virginia Racing Commission voted July 28 to hire a new equine drug-testing laboratory when the contract with its current lab ends at the end of August.
The 2014 champion male sprinter and a 4-year-old that finished second in last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) are among the horses entered on an all-stakes undercard for the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby.
Two colts that have been chasing Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will seek to get back on track when they face nine other 3-year-olds in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) Aug. 1 at Mountaineer.
The $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. I), to be held Aug. 1 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, has attracted 60 nominees, track officials said July 22.
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