Colonial Downs

Jessica Paquette Named New Parx Track Announcer

Jessica Paquette, a New England native with nearly 20 years of experience in horse racing, will be the new voice of Parx Racing starting in December. In accepting the position, Paquette becomes the only full-time, year-round female track announcer in the United States. "I am grateful for the women in the racing industry who have paved the way for my generation to work in so many different areas," said Paquette. "My hope is that I can similarly help inspire young women who may want to be part of our sport."...

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Retired Trainer Peter Howe Dies at 83

Retired trainer Peter Howe, one of just four people to train an American champion over jumps and on the flat, and the father of Colonial Downs Vice President of Racing Jill Byrne, died Thursday night in Charlottesville, Va. He was 83. Howe was born in Hartford, Conn., and became an accomplished rider of show horses--competing at Madison Square Garden, the Washington International Horse Show and other top venues--before transitioning to racehorses. Training mainly for Marion du Pont Scott's Montpelier Stable, Howe conditioned a small but quality stable of flat and...

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Colonial Downs Meeting Shatters Records

Buoyed by a record-breaking handle of more than $6.5 million on New Kent County Virginia Derby Day, Colonial Downs shattered all wagering marks this racing season, the fourth under the management of Colonial Downs Group and ownership of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment. Total handle for the 26-day live racing meet was $74,940,840 for a daily average of $2,882,340, up more than 29% from the 2021 average daily handle mark of $2,231,765 during that season's 21-day session. This race meet marked an all-time wagering high in the history of Colonial Downs. "The...

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Colonial Downs, Virginia HBPA Present $66,000 Check to TAA

Colonial Downs and the Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) presented a check for $66,000 to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) on Virginia Derby Day, which was held Sept. 6. "Colonial Downs is once again proud to support the TAA during our record-breaking 2022 racing season," said Jill Byrne, vice-president of racing operations at Colonial Downs. "The care of horses, both during and after their racing careers, is of the utmost importance and the TAA does such a great job to make sure this is accomplished. We were delighted...

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Sendero is Second Stakes Winner for City of Light

Sendero became the second stakes winner and seventh winner overall for his freshman sire City of Light (Quality Road) with a maiden-breaking victory in the Jamestown S. at Colonial Downs Wednesday. Sent off the 1-5 favorite, the bay colt was hustled out of the gate and rushed up to press the pace four wide down the backstretch through a quarter in :22.66. He stuck his head in front nearing the stretch and bound clear while Bee Mountain chased him home in second. Sendero missed by just a neck when second...

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TAA to Sponsor Kitten's Joy S.

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance will sponsor the Kitten's Joy S. on closing day of the Colonial Downs meet. A presentation of a TAA blanket and swag bag will be made to the winning connections following the running of the race. "We're thrilled to again partner with the TAA in sponsorship of the Kitten's Joy Stakes," said Colonial Downs Vice-President of Racing Operations, Jill Byrne. "We appreciate and value the importance of what the TAA provides to the industry and are happy to recognize their great efforts on our biggest day...

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Lovell Riding High After a Special Saratoga Win

In 1993, Michelle Lovell rode five races at Saratoga. Then known as jockey Michelle Hanley, she came home with three second-place finishes, but never got that win at the Spa. Twenty-nine years later, she finally made it to the winner's circle. This time it was with the brilliant GII Saratoga Special S. winner Damon's Mound (Girvin), her first Saratoga starter as a trainer. How do the two experiences compare? "Riding here back in the day, I was just super in awe of the place," Lovell explained. "Obviously who wouldn't want...

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The Exclusive, Obscure Club of DQ'd Track-Record Setters

Necker Island (Hard Spun) crossed the wire first in the $150,000 Chesapeake S. at Colonial Downs Aug. 16, stopping the timer in 1:07.72, the track's fastest six-furlong dirt clocking ever. But after multiple objections and a stewards' inquiry, Necker Island was disqualified and demoted to third for interference in the stretch. The lights had barely stopped blinking on the tote board when speculation sparked to life on social media about whether or not the 5-year-old's status as a track-record holder would be stripped, too. The answer, according to Equibase, the...

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Colonials Downs Daily All-Sources Wagering Up 30% Through First Five Weeks

Spearheaded by competitive fields on both of its racing surfaces and continued high interest in its Pick 5 wager, officials at Colonial Downs revealed Monday that the average all-sources wagering through the first five weeks of the 27-day Colonial Downs presented by Woodford Reserve race meeting is up 30.7% over the same corresponding time period of the 2021 meet; the $2,625,248 through the first 15 days of the meeting, compared to $2,008,092 through the first 15 days last year. A total of $1,113,614 was bet into the sixth race Aug....

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Conagher Gets His Shot, Saratoga's Allen Jerkens Up Next

The speedy sophomore Conagher (c, 3, Jimmy Creed--You Should Be Here, by Niagara Causeway), a very sharp wire-to-wire winner of Monday's Housebuster Overnight H. at Colonial Downs, will get his chance at the big leagues in the GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. at Saratoga Aug. 27. "We'll find out how high we can go with him," trainer Michael Tomlinson said. "Saratoga is an exciting and fun place to be. The atmosphere is unmatched, that's for sure." Off as the 2-5 favorite from his inside draw, Conagher flashed his usual...

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CDI Aims to Nearly Double Colonial's Race Dates

By 2026, the gaming corporation that owns Colonial Downs is aiming to nearly double the amount of racing at the turf-centric Virginia track, potentially expanding the current boutique-styled summer race meet from 27 to 50 dates. That news was revealed Thursday morning by Bill Carstanjen, the chief executive officer of Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), who briefly mentioned the dates increase during a public quarterly earnings conference call with investment bankers. The reason has everything to do with CDI's gaming revenue and apparently very little do with the overall scope of...

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Quarter Horse Racino Approved for Eastern Kentucky

By unanimous voice vote after zero public discussion among commissioners at a "special" meeting, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) on Tuesday quickly approved a license awarding a Quarter Horse racino license for a track to be constructed in the northeastern part of the state. The license is the ninth and final of its kind to be awarded in Kentucky. Although the focus of press releases announcing the deal accentuated the rebirth of Quarter Horse racing in a state better known as the nation's Thoroughbred epicenter, the real prize for...

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