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Posts Tagged ‘horsemen’

DO NOT sign the petition that the ODTHA and Colonial Downs is spreading! The “Old Dominion Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association” is Colonial Downs’ made up group that they incorporated to sign a contract with themselves! Colonial Downs has been in the news media lying to the public about their contract dispute with the current horsemen’s group known as the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association or VHBPA. Colonial Downs has been playing the victim in the contract dispute claiming the horsemen won’t sign a contract which shuts down their thoroughbred simulcast operation. Virginia does not allow wagering on horse racing without a significant amount of live race days. Colonial Downs would love to eliminate live racing and only operate off track wagering parlors. Live racing cost them money and cuts into their profits so it’s understandable why a betting parlor operation would not want to fund live racing if they were allowed to accept wagers without it. If there was no live racing, then there would be no racing to bet on and many people lose jobs who are on the racing side of the industry. Colonial Downs is also not telling you that they are very profitable with their online wagering business. They conveniently leave that out of the discussions when they claim to be losing money.

Colonial Downs wanted to sign a contract for 6 days of racing and that was unacceptable to Virginia horsemen. Then Colonial Downs said they were willing to host 17 days of racing with 3 days of stakes races, but would not open the backside for stabling and training. How is that going to work when a lot of their horses come to stable and train from Florida and Maryland? What they are also not telling you is that they want most of the purse money to be designated to the 3 days of racing that does not stay in our local economy. This leaves little money left to spread over the 17 days of racing that most of us rely on.

What people may not realize is that there are many people who breed, raise and train horses to race in Virginia and without a race track, their business is crippled. This trickles down to the farmers who grow oats, hay and straw. The feed stores lose as well because there are less horses to feed. The blacksmith who puts shoes on the horses loses work. The tack shop that supplies bridles, supplements, medications and saddles is losing. The local veterinarians lose clients. The person who makes a living transporting the horses is now out of work. There are so many people involved in the thoroughbred horse racing industry that will be out of work if Colonial Downs fails to keep there promise to the Virginia horsemen.

“The Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (VHBPA) is a non-profit membership organization that represents thoroughbred owners and trainers who race at Colonial Downs. The VHBPA negotiates with the management and ownership of Colonial for race days, dates, and purses, and also provides educational, recreational, health, counseling, and religious programs for back stretch workers.” – http://VHBPA.org     

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GOES LIVE MONDAY, MAY 19th @ 10:00 a.m. TUNE IN!

Tune into this YouTube Channel for a live broadcast of the Colonial Downs, Va Horsemen and Virginia Racing Commission meeting to find out if Colonial Downs will follow state law and accept what the Virginia Racing Commission has ordered. The Virginia Horsemen, HBPA, has compromised away from a 8 and 7 week request, down to a 5 week contract agreement that Colonial Downs refuses to sign to this point, even though it has been ordered by the Virginia Racing Commission. They may lose their license to operate para mutual wagering in the state of Virginia if they do not sign this contract Monday, May 19th 2014.

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There is still a glowing ember hoping to ignite Virginia racing in 2014. As of April 2014, the Virginia horsemen’s group, not the Colonial Downs horsemen’s group, agreed to a 5 week meet like Colonial Downs hosted in 2013. The state told Colonial Downs that their para mutual wagering license was in jeopardy, if they didn’t agree to at least the same meet that was run last year. It’s simple, no racing, no license for Colonial Downs. Colonial Downs has not yet publically responded to this arrangement, but has until May 7th, at the next Virginia Racing commission meeting, to do so. Even though this deal brings us right back to where we started, it would be something for the horsemen that look forward to running their Virginia breds and turf horses. I’m not happy with it, especially since I retired my Va bred because of all this, but maybe he can make the last week of the meet. I also feel Colonial Downs still get’s their way. Maybe at least this was a hard lesson for Colonial Downs, which cost them well over a million dollars. The only thing that could save them is, if they agreed to the horsemen’s compromise and get up and running for wagering on the Kentucky Derby.

The impact of the standoff could reduce the quality of the meet as the purse structure could be as much as 30% lower, if not more. If reasonable prizes are not offered, then the field sizes could drop considerably as well. It is hard to speculate how much purse money the track has actually lost for the Virginia horsemen, while playing hard ball, but we will soon find out if Colonial Downs agrees to what’s now on the table. If they don’t agree to this, then it’s very possible Virginia racing will be gone in the state for a while. There are also talks about having a Virginia meet in Maryland. It obviously won’t be the same as far as turf goes, but at least Virginia breds will have an opportunity to run for breeder’s and owner bonuses. At this point, the Virginia horsemen have not lost nearly as much as Colonial Downs. In all actuality Virginia horsemen have not lost anything at this point, since they would be running their horses in neighboring states at this time of year anyway. For all the people who love horses and the sights and the sounds of the race track, we can only hope racing can get back the way it was in Old Virginny when the whole summer was dedicated to the sport of kings. The ball is in your court, Colonial Downs. The horsemen gave in to your original offer, what are you going to do?


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Letter To VA HBPA President David Ross from Ian Stewart, President at Colonial Downs.

Colonial Downs Desperate and Dying a Slow Death! Latest News. 4-8-14

 

What’s really going on,

Colonial Downs president, Ian Stewart, released a letter to David Ross, president of the Virginia HBPA, regarding the ongoing contract dispute between Virginia horsemen and Colonial Downs race track in New Kent County, Virginia. Colonial Downs is offering the fewest possible days to run live racing in Virginia, in order to keep their pari-mutuel wagering license.

None of the proposals in this letter will promote Virginia racing and breeding. Racing is going backwards in Virginia and will continue as long as Colonial Downs continues to operate in this manner. Colonial Downs is trying to form (buy) their own horsemen’s group that will agree to their offer, to host only 6 days of live horse racing in Virginia, while they continue to operate their profitable off track wagering facilities for the other 359 days a year.

This dirty tactic by Colonial Downs will most likely fail and create even more tension between the Virginia horsemen and Colonial Downs. Virginia horsemen would like a long enough race meet where they can have multiple opportunities to race their horses, if at all. This would be almost impossible in a 6 days race meet. Attempting to attract “quality” horses is dream, not a reality. All Colonial Downs will get is cheap horses that run for larger purses. There are simply not enough horses to fill race races at the higher levels. Where does Colonial Downs think these horses will come from? Colonial Downs feels for some reason that offering larger purses will make Colonial Downs a big player in the thoroughbred racing industry. Realistically Virginia racing will not thrive to the level of the major racing venues, unless casino gaming is offered. The letter ends with Colonial Downs claiming that a group of Virginia horsemen are willing to work with Colonial Downs to resolve the current dispute in favor of the boutique race meet. This is only partially true and the horsemen that may be joining this new group are not active owners and trainers in Virginia. If there is a group at all, it’s very small and insignificant.

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Virginia Racing Commission Meeting Colonial Downs VaHBPA

Colonial Downs And Horsemen Meet With Virginia Racing Commission

Driving to Colonial Downs to see if they want to continue to have thoroughbred horses race at their “horse track”. Goodluck horsemen and Colonial Downs to signing a reasonable contract that keeps racing alive and well in Virginia. (By “reasonable”, I mean a 4 x 8). I predict 4 days x 7 weeks or maybe 3 x 7, but I won’t like it.
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  • They are now arguing about allowing Colonial Downs to open wagering for the Dogwood classic.

     

  • I believe they may need to pick up a sponsor down there someday ……….The 2014 TUMS DERBY…for non winners everywhere

     

  • So now Colonial Downs admits to taking money from the joint account with the horsemen to fund the purses for the Dogwood Classic. Interesting….. Sneaky….. Criminal?

     

  • Headlines…”It`s a Crock..of manure spreading at best” Maybe that is what the burn at track burning event they are charging $2 to get in….

     

  • Frank is making a proposal now…. This involves the Dogwood Classic…

     

  • Did you know dogwood`s fall of Virginians homes causing damages?

     

  • Thankfully I have Dubai pp`s to study

     

  • They allowed wagering at the Dogwood Classic…

     

  • But not the Florida Derby?

     

  • Discussing a 7 week, 3 days/week for 21 days of racing.

     

  • 7 and 21 are good numbers for gamblers ….ZERO NOT SO MUCH

     

  • More people from New Kent County attended this meeting.

     

  • From what I understand, just the dogwood classic.

     

  • New Kent residents should get free passes to smooze???

     

  • Db`s marketing logo “To get ass`es you need free pass`es

     

  • Dogwood`s are the things that fall on folks homes in storms ?

     

  • By they way thanks for the updates …The $25 I saved in gas and $5 on tums will be wagered to support horse racing Saturday
  • no pictures from the crock smart phone?
  • No decision on a contract between Colonial Downs Race Track and the horsemen today. There will be another meeting on April 11th, 9 a.m.
  • What came of the Florida meeting that was reported to be happening a few days ago Chris?
  • Sarah : I would guess a hefty expense account ?
  • Sarah McCord I talked to a CD administrator who was on the inside, but they could not tell me details. All I did find out was Jacobs wasn’t stuck on the short meet like Ian Stewart seemed to be, but he wants to run 8 weeks with harness racing mixed in. 3 days standardbred and 3 days thoroughbred. And where would we train? I can’t imagine it would hurt Colonial and maybe it would be best to cut into the turf course and build a inner harness or dirt track. Run more dirt races and ease up on the grass. I hate to say it, but restrict maiden claiming races to dirt.
  • I don’t know the %s but restricting mcl at Cnl to dirt will move most of the races off the turf.
    Like you said in your first letter Chris the cheap grass is the reason people come.
    You can’t take all the mcl off the grass. The condition books are almost entirely maiden claimers. You can raise the claim tag on the bottom grass but you’ll probably get the 5k horses running for 16 or whatever bottom is.
    If we are to assume that is one model actually on the table (a scary thought) It might be ok moving a higher percentage to dirt
    IF they would hire a good track man and give us a safe racetrack. You know from training there That that track is not even good enough to gallop on a lot of the time.But why do that when you have a huge swath of turf that will hold up to running nearly every race on the card for an 8 week meet??? other tracks limit their turf is because it’s a precious resource that won’t hold up to the abuse of daily racing. But with a 24 day meet, colonial is in a position to be able to run everything on the turf. That’s their big selling point!tearing up the grass for a harness track seems insane. I would rather they resurface the dirt to harness and leave us only a thin strip to train on than rip up the turf (biggest asset of colonial).
    How would they handle training? Separate hours? Who gets the late shift when it’s 110 in the shade?
    This seems like an impossible suggestion to me to run both at once without building a separate training track.
  • Exactly, Sarah McCord, they have no clue what that proposal involves. You are right about taking all the MdCl races too, but then maybe Colonial will realize what the place is good for when no races fill and people just put their 5k maiden claimers in the MSW races. I thought about the strip of dirt, but Jessica McKinney shot it down when she said they would not want to spend the money to put up another rail and backtracking would be a bitch without an outside rail on a narrow track. If Colonial does a 6 day meet, and they won’t, with insanely high purses, we should all just show up with the same horses that we have been bringing and get good entry dates so all the big outfits can’t get in the races. Now that’s an idea, although I really don’t want to give them the horses to put on their show because what they have not realized yet is that they do need us, we don’t need them. Most of betting public, especially the people who are blaming us horsemen, only can tell the class of a horse by the price on the racing form. Anyway… I just wish Jacobs sold the place a long time ago to people with a vision to grow thoroughbred horse racing and a clue how to manage a race track.

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