I wanted to take a minute to update everybody about the status of the Virginia-bred restricted races.
Through the first eight days of entries we have offered five restricted Va-bred races. Unfortunately, we were only able to fill two of the five. The races that went were both maiden special weight extras.
The first race we offered was close to going (five entries), but since it was opening day and all the other races we were offering had much larger fields, we opted to utilize an open race with a big bettable field. The next several restricted races drew minimal entries until we carded a maiden race with a field of eight horses which scratched down to seven. Sunday, we are offering another Virginia-bred MSW with a field of six.
I want to assure Virginia horsemen and breeders that we are committed to continue working with the Virginia Thoroughbred Association (VTA) and the Virginia HBPA (VHBPA) to help strengthen the Virginia-bred program and to fill and run a varied menu of restricted races.
Jillian Tullock in the racing office is constantly seeking Va-breds for these races. While she has done comprehensive research, we know there are horses out there that Jillian doesn’t know about. If you have one and need a condition, please call the office and talk to Jillian.
For those who have not been involved in the process over the last two years, I think it is noteworthy to mention several steps we (Colonial Downs, VTA and VHBPA) have taken to strengthen the Virginia Breeders Fund and the restricted racing program in Virginia.
*In 2009 and 2010 restricted race purses have been funded by association and horsemen’s purse money, leaving more funds available for the breeders’ fund.
*In 2010 the restricted stakes purses are funded $30,000 association and horsemen’s funds and $20,000 VA Breeders Fund, again leaving more funds available for the Breeders’ Fund.
*We have dedicated an entry clerk to help fill restricted races.
*We have two Virginia Bred races in the body of the condition book every week.
*We changed the age restrictions on the John D. Marsh and the Oakley Stakes, affording more Virginia breds the opportunity to participate in the stakes program.
In years to come I am confident that we will build upon our shared enthusiasm in Virginia racing. – Tyler Picklesimer, Director of Racing/Racing