Covid-19 and Horse Racing. No Fans as Colonial Opens

Colonial Downs planned to welcome folks back July 27 under Gov. Ralph Northam’s Phase 3 plan. With an extensive plan in place, Marshall said it would only allow 1,000 spectators at the track at the time and changed the regular weekend racing schedule to a Monday through Wednesday schedule.

“Our horsemen fully support the decision to conduct racing without fans at Colonial Downs this summer, otherwise the public risk is too great,” Executive Director Frank Petramalo Jr. said in a news release. “There is a bright spot. All of our races will be televised live on the TVG network and people can wager on TVG or on other online sites.”

A Look Back at the History of Colonial Downs Racetrack

Less than a year later, on May, 5, 2001, Scanlan had Borislow’s Talk Is Money in the Kentucky Derby. It was, to say the least, a temperamental horse that had been purchased for $2 million as a yearling. Scanlan originally referred to it as “Hanging Tree” because “if it doesn’t do too good, I may have to find a tree and hang myself from it.”

The horse quickly developed a knack for throwing jockeys. At Churchill Downs, prior to the 127th Run for the Roses, hall of fame jock Jerry Bailey withheld Talk Is Money from the post parade “for good reason,” said NBC’s Tom Hammond. “He’s tossed riders three times during parades.” That was about all the network had to say about the 47-1 longshot. If Hammond and friends mentioned Borislow, or Scanlan, we missed it.

Talk Is Money started 11th and finished last (17th), having suffered what was diagnosed as a heat stroke. Bailey walked the horse across the finish line. Scanlan later said, “Bailey was scared to death of him.”

Earlier, Scanlan told us off-the-record Talk had no business being in the Derby, but Borislow wanted to be there “to sit with the other owners.” Borislow died in 2014 at age 52….

More about the history of Colonial Downs and the people there:

Colonial Downs Re-opens Aug 8 with Secretariat Turf Course

The Secretariat Turf Course will be ready when Colonial Downs opens for live racing Aug. 8. The collaboration is part of a licensing agreement with the Tweedy family and Secretariat.com that also will feature an annual Secretariat Day at the racetrack as well as equine welfare fund-raising and other promotional opportunities, including festivities planned for Virginia Derby Day on Aug. 31.

“Colonial Downs is thrilled to partner with the Tweedy family and spotlight one of Virginia racing’s brightest stars, who was foaled less than 50 miles from our own gates,” said Jill Byrne, Colonial Downs Vice President of Racing operations. “Secretariat’s enduring legacy continues to reverberate with new generations of fans, and it is only fitting that Colonial Downs recognizes this native son of the Commonwealth.”

“My family and I are excited that live racing has returned to Virginia and that we can contribute by sharing the legacy of Secretariat.” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery. “The Secretariat Turf Course will no doubt witness great racing contests, something my mother and my grandfather would have especially loved to see. Our family also applauds Colonial Downs for their efforts to engage existing horse lovers and generate new racing fans.”

More….

Here’s what you need to know about Colonial Downs Live Racing Return

Live horse racing returns to Colonial Downs in August 2019 for the first time since the racetrack was shuttered in 2014.

There will be live thoroughbred horse racing on the track every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Aug. 8 to Sept. 7, including a daytime race on Labor Day and the Virginia Derby on Aug. 31.

Renovations on the turf and dirt tracks at Colonial Downs began last April, according to a past Tidewater Review report. Crews worked to burn all existing turf left on the track and resurface it with new turf. They also revitalized the stable areas, race offices, clubhouse and suites.

Daily purses will average a minimum of $500,000 throughout the 15-day race schedule, according to a news release from Colonial Downs Group, which took over the property last year. The Virginia Derby, a long-running racing meet, will feature a $250,000 stakes purse, the release states.

On Aug. 10, the first Saturday of the racing schedule, you can expect to see four stakes races on the turf course, each with a $100,000 purse, according to the release.

More about Live Racing at Colonial Downs: