According to numerous sources, the Virginia Racing Commission today told Colonial Downs and the state’s horsemen that it would scrap the 2014 racing season altogether — if the two sides could achieve, by July 1, an agreement that would allow the track’s largely shuttered network of off-track wagering facilities to reopen immediately and would set a 2015 racing season.
The Commission had previously ordered that Colonial Downs run a five-week meet with 25 days of live racing this summer — an order that, after a months-long impasse, Colonial was unwilling to follow. That order reportedly remains in effect, if the sides cannot reach an accord.
The order the Commission adopted today reportedly requires that Colonial conduct 24 days of live racing in 2015, running three days per week for eight weeks. It also calls for Colonial to open its stable facilities for horses to live during the meet and to allow training at the track– both in contrast to recent Colonial proposals which have called for the backside largely to be closed, with horses shipping in to run.
The Commission did not indicate what the consequences would be if the sides could not reach agreement.
It is unclear whether either Colonial Downs or the Virginia Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which represents the state’s horsemen, will support the Commission proposal.