Tuesday’s action-packed Virginia Derby Day included a dedication to Thoroughbred aftercare. After the sixth race on the Virginia Derby card Sep. 6 at Colonial Downs, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) accepted a check for $66,000 from Colonial Downs and the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA).
Initiated in 2019, Colonial Downs and the Virginia HBPA have each pledged $15 per start at the Colonial Downs meet to the TAA.
“Colonial Downs is once again proud to support the TAA during our record breaking 2022 racing season,” said Jill Byrne, Colonial Downs’ Vice-President of Racing Operations. “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 to have TAA on site at the Virginia Derby and happy to present an even larger check than in past years.”
“Tuesday was a great day for Virginia horsemen, and we were thrilled to honor the TAA on our biggest day of racing,” said Virginia HBPA’s Executive Director, Frank Petramalo Jr. “The funds we donate to the TAA are the most important way we can support our Thoroughbreds after they retire from racing.”
The TAA also hosted the Best Turned Out Horse Awards on Virginia Derby Day, sponsored by the Virginia HBPA, providing a cash prize and gift bag to the winning groom of the Best Turned Out Horse for each of the six stakes races on the card: the Hidden Figures Overnight Handicap, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Kitten’s Joy Stakes, the Woodford Reserve Da Hoss Stakes, the Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes, the Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks, and the New Kent County Virginia Derby (G3T).
The winning horses and grooms for the TAA Best Turned Out Horse Awards Sponsored by Virginia HBPA are as follows:
R4 Hidden Figures Overnight Handicap: JILTED BRIDE and groom Jorge Gonzalez
R6 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Kitten’s Joy Stakes: DETERMINED CRUSH and groom Gervin Hernandez
R7 Woodford Reserve Da Hoss Stakes: NOBODY LISTENS and groom Octavio Rodriguez
R8 Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes: OPPOSITES ATTRACT and groom Louis Solario
R9 Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks: SPARKLE BLUE and groom Jesus Catalun
R10 New Kent County Virginia Derby (G3T): TWO SOCKS (IRE) and groom Bernie Sanchez
“Both Colonial Downs and the Virginia HBPA are outstanding partners of the TAA who are committed to supporting our equine athletes,” said TAA’s Funding and Events Manager, Emily (Dresen) Scandore. “The TAA is honored to showcase our partnership on such an exciting day of racing.”
In addition to the Best Turned Out Horse Awards, the TAA presented the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Kitten’s Joy Stakes, won by Steve Asmussen trainee GIGANTE and Feargal Lynch for owners Iapetus Racing and Diamond T Racing.
Photo: Coady Photography