Another successful Colonial Downs race meet was highlighted by a dedication to Thoroughbred Aftercare. After the sixth race on the Virginia Derby card Aug. 31 at Colonial Downs, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accepted a check for $50,000 from Colonial Downs and the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
Initiated in 2019, Colonial Downs and the Virginia HBPA have each pledged $15 per start at the Colonial Downs meet to the TAA.
“It is with gratitude to the majestic horses that we proudly support TAA aftercare jointly with the VHBPA,” said Colonial Downs President of Racing Operations John Marshall. “Colonial Downs believes in doing our part to help retired horses that have given so much to provide entertainment, employment, and passion to so many.”
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 five stakes races on the card: the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Old Nelson Stakes, the Woodford Reserve Kitten’s Joy Stakes, the Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes, the Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks, and the New Kent County Virginia Derby (G3T).
The winning horse and groom for the best turned out awards are as follows:
Race 6 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Old Nelson Stakes: BRAMBLE QUEEN and groom Luis Quintero
Race 7 Woodford Reserve Kitten’s Joy Stakes: EPIC LUCK and groom Valentin Fonseca
Race 8 Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes: TEJANO TWIST and groom Ivan Morales
Race 9 Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks: ZEYARAAT and groom Oscar Cardona
Race 10 New Kent County Virginia Derby (G3T): DOUBLEOSEVEN and groom Francisco Oscura
“Colonial Downs is once again proud to support the TAA throughout our 2021 racing season,” said Jill Byrne vice president of racing operations Colonial Downs. “The care of horses during and after their racing careers is of the upmost importance, and the work the TAA does to ensure that this is accomplished, is extraordinary. We were delighted to have the TAA at Colonial Downs for Virginia Derby Day.”
“Like so many tracks across the country, Colonial Downs and Virginia HBPA is doing their part to not only bring awareness to aftercare but support it financially,” said TAA President Jimmy Bell. “What better day than Virginia Derby Day to highlight this important endeavor and their collaborative efforts in helping Thoroughbreds transition into their second careers.”
In addition to the Best Turned Out Horse Awards, the TAA presented the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Old Nelson Stakes, won by Graham Motion trainee Tuned (GB) for owner Al Shaqab Racing.