Colonial Downs and More
The rich heritage of Virginia horse racing traces its roots back to the colonial days of the late seventeenth century. Horse racing began as single-day events held at county fairs, family farms, and hunt meets, taking a long and meandering path to become the sport we know and love today. Colonial Downs and More examines the important changes that occurred in Virginia’s horse racing industry during the last half century, with a particular focus on the debates over pari-mutuel wagering. The legalization of pari-mutuel wagering became a hot-button legislative issue in the 1980s, sparked by horse breeders and owners hoping to improve the industry. In 1988, voters approved the legalization of pari-mutuel wagering, a move that opened the doors for the establishment of a new racetrack that would come to be known as Colonial Downs. Colonial Downs faced major obstacles from its inception. Construction was bogged down by licensing delays and legal issues. Nine long years elapsed before it finally opened its gates in 1997. After a modest opening, attendance and wagering slumped over the next three to five years. Nonetheless, despite the difficulties, the track and associated operations remain high quality, offering breeders and owners needed funds and providing racing fans with unparalleled fun and excitement.
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Colonial Downs Leaders Track Records
Colonial Downs Stakes Winners
Visionaries of Virginia Turf
Horse Breeding In Virginia
Horse Racing in Virginia
Types Scheduling of Racing
Satellite Wagering Facilities
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$2 ticket Association became Belmont Stakes Black Type Bred in Virginia Breeders broodmares Brookmeade champion older champion three-year-old colt Chenery Colonial Downs Colonial Downs Holdings Deep Run Hunt earned Eclipse Award filly finished second Firestone foaled furlongs gambling Hall of Fame Handicap Gr Hill Prince horse industry horse racing horsemen Jockey Club Joe Aitcheson Kentucky Derby Keswick Loudoun Manakin-Sabot Maryland Middleburg million Montpelier Morven Park Named champion Newstead Farm owners pari-mutuel pari-mutuel wagering patrons Paul Mellon percent Point to Point Pont Scott Preakness Stakes Race Course racetrack Racing in Virginia referendum Richmond Rokeby Stable Saratoga scheduled Secretariat simulcasting Sir Archie sired Stakes Gr stakes races stakes winners stallion starts steeplechase racing Strawberry Hill stud thoroughbred thoroughbred racing timber track record trainer Travers Stakes two-year-old colt Upperville Virginia Derby Virginia Gold Cup Virginia Horse Virginia Racing Commission Virginia-bred VTA elected VTA Hall VTA named Warrenton winning