I'll Miss Colonial Downs But Don't Miss Betting On Racing With TwinSpires

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Ed DeRosa

April 8th, 2015

I’ll miss Colonial Downs.

To date, it’s the only track I’ve seen that moved races to the turf following inclement weather, and I doubt I’ll ever see an “off dirt” designation ever again.

And personally, I cashed one of my biggest win bets there when Red Giant won the 2007 Virginia Derby at 37-to-1 (the only other winning pick I made at higher odds in a stakes race was All Squared Away in the 2012 Coolmore Lexington Stakes).

But most of all it’s sad for a commonwealth that has as much a claim to being called horse country as the Blue Grass does. This is the birthplace of Secretariat after all with one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas to the northeast as well.

The off-track betting concept has been a tricky one. New York City’s was one of the largest bet takers in the world but bled money. Central Kentucky is the Horse Capital of the World but has no OTBs. You can’t even bet Thoroughbreds—many of them born here and cared for by people who would bet them over a pint or two—at night in Lexington.

The D.C. area is one where I would think an OTB could be successful. Lots of money and power and ego—what better place to put that all on display than a bar betting the ponies?

But alas, the OTBs are closed, too, along with the New Kent County track itself.

No more Virginia Derby, no more days on end of turf races with double digit fields, and no more Dave Rodman plying his trade (announcing) throughout the summer.

Thankfully, though, today’s news doesn’t mean no more betting at all for Virginia residents, who still can bet all their other favorite tracks and events (like Keeneland, the Kentucky Derby, and Preakness Stakes) from the comfort of their home, office, kid’s basketball game, etc., and our new app makes it even easier.

We’ll all miss Virginia racing, but we at hope nobody there leaves racing altogether.