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By Tom Keyser | August 27, 1997
Colonial Downs opened its track for training yesterday -- six days before the scheduled opening of the track in southern Virginia.Lenny Hale, Colonial Downs' racing secretary, said that 24 horses galloped over the track, and that at least seven were scheduled for workouts this morning."
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January 13, 2011
Age 2: Is taught to ride by her mother, Ledley Byrd Boyce, a show horse rider and fox hunter. Ages 11-14: Works with renowned point-to-point jockey Mike Smithwick and attends Garrison Forest School. Ages 14-23: Works with trainers Holly Robinson, Alexandra White, Dickie Small and Jonathan Sheppard galloping and working horses. Graduates from Garrison Forest, goes to North Carolina-Ashville, then the Maryland Institute College of Art , where she graduates and then pursues a jockey career.
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By SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 11, 1998
NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- Da Hoss, whose last pari-mutuel race was a 1996 victory in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile, will visit Colonial Downs today to compete in the $30,000 eighth race turf event as part of closing day.Da Hoss, now 6, is a prospect once again for next month's Breeders' Cup.Trainer Michael Dickinson planned to use a grass race this weekend at either The Meadowlands, Belmont Park or Colonial Downs as a prep. With bad weather canceling other weekend turf races, Da Hoss will make his first appearance in two years in today's 1 1/8 -mile allowance race.
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By Sandra McKee, The Baltimore Sun | January 13, 2011
In the summer of 1996, 11-year-old Forest Boyce, like a lot of other little girls, wanted to ride horses. And she found a way to do that by working at the farm of late, renowned point-to-point jockey Mike Smithwick in Monkton, where Boyce grew up. Soon she was there on weekends. When school started she was there before classes. When the weather got cold and rain and snow began to fall, she was still there. Year after year. "Forest sort of grew up with us," said trainer Alex White, who worked at Smithwick's farm for more than 20 years before being out on her own the past 10. "I think she wanted to be a jockey when she was 16 years old. But her parents, myself and [trainer]
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By Kent Baker and Kent Baker,SUN STAFF | May 10, 1998
Early returns from the first Colonial Downs harness meeting are not promising.Opening night, the track drew a crowd of 6,153 and handled $924,018, not bad figures compared with last fall's thoroughbred stand.But the numbers fell off dramatically during the next two cards -- to 2,003 attendance and $401,698 in handle last Sunday, a money figure lower than any single day of the thoroughbred meet.The figures include totals bet on Colonial's races at simulcast outlets around the country."It's uncharted water here.
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By Kent Baker and Kent Baker,SUN STAFF | December 10, 1995
Colonial Downs, the first thoroughbred track in Virginia, is under construction in New Kent, but action there next summer will be restricted."We'll have a limited meet in 1996. It could be two days or 10 days. That's going to be up to them [the Virginia Racing Commission]," said Arnold Stansley, the Toledo, Ohio, harness operator who was awarded the license for Colonial Downs.The licensing decision is being appealed in a lawsuit by a rival group, the Virginia Jockey Club, delaying final approval of the license and extensive racing.
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By Tom Keyser | July 14, 2002
NEW KENT, Va. -- John Mooney, CEO of Colonial Downs, watched as patrons streamed into this attractive, colonial-style racetrack yesterday for the Virginia Derby and said that yes, Colonial Downs has found its niche. "This is definitely when this meet needs to be," he said. "To say the least, I am very pleased with the meet so far." This is the second year thoroughbreds have raced in the summer at Colonial Downs. After four years of running in the fall, numbers are up in all important areas, Mooney said -- betting on-track, attendance and betting out-of-state on Colonial Downs' races.
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By Kent Baker and Kent Baker,SUN STAFF | June 11, 2004
The first million-dollar program in Virginia thoroughbred racing history highlights the 2004 meeting at Colonial Downs, the track in New Kent, about 25 miles east of Richmond, which opens for seven weeks today. Three stakes events on the state-of-the-art Secretariat Turf Course, including the Grade III, $500,000 Virginia Million, highlight the card on July 10. Co-featured will be the Grade III, $200,000 All Along Breeders' Cup and the $200,000 Virginia Oaks, a new event at 1 1/8 miles that is restricted to 3-year-old fillies.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | March 25, 2001
On the record, they say the fight over Maryland racing dates will be "contentious." Off the record, they say it may be a "bloodbath." On Wednesday, representatives of the Maryland Jockey Club will ask the state's racing commission for permission to cease racing at Pimlico and Laurel Park for parts of June and July so that thoroughbreds can race at Colonial Downs. Situated between Richmond and Williamsburg, Va., Colonial Downs has set its meet from June 9 to July 14. Because the Maryland Jockey Club manages racing at Colonial Downs, the MJC wants to shut down racing here for those five weeks.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | December 19, 1996
As hopeful racing officials gathered yesterday for groundbreaking ceremonies at Colonial Downs in southern Virginia, workers continued erecting the steel framework of the track's grandstand."
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Sun reporter | August 10, 2007
Md. trainer Smith returns as winner Hamilton Smith's horses excelled over the summer at Colonial Downs, but the Maryland trainer said he can't wait to return to Laurel Park today when it opens for its 10-day minimeet. "We're certainly glad to be back," said Smith, who has Free Dubai in the first race and Sporting Print in the seventh. "It was getting tiresome running back and forth to Colonial, near Richmond. I had 20 or 30 horses here at Laurel Park and another 30 or 35 down there." Smith's horses won 20 of 106 races at Colonial Downs, making him that meet's leading trainer, beating out fellow Maryland trainers Ferris Allen (18 wins)
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By SANDRA MCKEE and SANDRA MCKEE,SUN REPORTER | August 13, 2006
Before they can run, they have to ride. That's a fact of thoroughbred life for Maryland's racehorses during most of the summer. Between June 10, when the Pimlico Race Course spring meet ended, and Wednesday, when Laurel Park opens for a brief meet, there has been no live racing in Maryland. So if a trainer wants his horse in a race, it's into the van for a drive from Pimlico or Laurel, most likely to Delaware Park, Charles Town in West Virginia or Colonial Downs in Virginia. The longest trip goes to Colonial Downs, about 170 miles from Baltimore in New Kent.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | September 7, 2005
When Laurel Park opens this afternoon, trainer Ferris Allen III will be among the happiest men at the racetrack. Allen lives in Jessup, just 15 minutes from the track, and most of his horses are stabled there. "It's a chance to be back at home," he said, repeating what other trainers are saying after months of travel. For those with operations based at Laurel, Bowie and Pimlico, this 78-day meet, which will utilize both the upgraded dirt and the new turf courses, is a welcome relief from summer travel to places such as Delaware Park, Colonial Downs (Va.)
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By Kent Baker and Kent Baker,SUN STAFF | June 17, 2005
The Virginia segment of the area thoroughbred racing schedule goes postward today with renewed vigor. Colonial Downs, the picturesque track in New Kent, Va., that struggled through its early years, will open with five more racing days than last summer, steady recent gains in live attendance and handle and the addition of the first two legs of the $3.65 million Grand Slam of Grass on its signature turf course. The track's 40-day meeting will conclude Aug. 9. Post time is 5 p.m. each Friday, Monday and Tuesday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | February 19, 2005
Colonial Downs, the Virginia track managed by the Maryland Jockey Club, has received approval from the Virginia Racing Commission to conduct the "Grand Slam of Grass," four turf races that will offer a $2 million bonus to a horse who can sweep the series. The track between Richmond and Williamsburg will run the first two races during its summer meet, June 24 through Aug. 16. The third race is to be determined and the fourth race will be the Breeders' Cup Turf. The two races at Colonial Downs, both for 3-year-olds, will be the inaugural, $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup on June 25 and the $750,000, Grade III Virginia Derby on July 16. The last two winners of the Virginia Derby, Silver Tree and Kitten's Joy, competed in last fall's Breeders' Cup. "We're pretty proud of the horses who've won and gone on to the Breeders' Cup from our race," said John Mooney, Colonial Downs' general manager.
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By Kent Baker and Ed Waldman and Kent Baker and Ed Waldman,SUN STAFF | July 2, 2004
The head of off-track betting operations for the Maryland Jockey Club's parent corporation yesterday was appointed to the No. 2 job at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course. Jim Gagliano, a group vice president at Magna Entertainment Corp. and a former general manager of Philadelphia Park, was named executive vice president/Maryland racing operations and will be responsible for the oversight of management of the day-to-day racing operations at the two tracks, according to president and chief executive officer Joe De Francis.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | February 19, 2005
Colonial Downs, the Virginia track managed by the Maryland Jockey Club, has received approval from the Virginia Racing Commission to conduct the "Grand Slam of Grass," four turf races that will offer a $2 million bonus to a horse who can sweep the series. The track between Richmond and Williamsburg will run the first two races during its summer meet, June 24 through Aug. 16. The third race is to be determined and the fourth race will be the Breeders' Cup Turf. The two races at Colonial Downs, both for 3-year-olds, will be the inaugural, $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup on June 25 and the $750,000, Grade III Virginia Derby on July 16. The last two winners of the Virginia Derby, Silver Tree and Kitten's Joy, competed in last fall's Breeders' Cup. "We're pretty proud of the horses who've won and gone on to the Breeders' Cup from our race," said John Mooney, Colonial Downs' general manager.
SPORTS
By Kent Baker and Kent Baker,SUN STAFF | June 11, 2004
The first million-dollar program in Virginia thoroughbred racing history highlights the 2004 meeting at Colonial Downs, the track in New Kent, about 25 miles east of Richmond, which opens for seven weeks today. Three stakes events on the state-of-the-art Secretariat Turf Course, including the Grade III, $500,000 Virginia Million, highlight the card on July 10. Co-featured will be the Grade III, $200,000 All Along Breeders' Cup and the $200,000 Virginia Oaks, a new event at 1 1/8 miles that is restricted to 3-year-old fillies.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | July 12, 2003
Bob Baffert and Beverly and Bob Lewis, perhaps the country's most recognizable trainer and owners of racehorses, respectively, know next to nothing about Colonial Downs. Yet they've flown across country from California to reach the out-of-the-way racetrack in Virginia. Senor Swinger, trained by Baffert and owned by the Lewises, is the main attraction today in the $500,000 Virginia Derby, the marquee race of Colonial Downs' summer meet. Once a contender for the Kentucky Derby, the 3-year-old colt has flourished in two races on grass.
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