Colonial Downs, Virginia HBPA Present Check to TAA on Virginia Derby Day

September 8, 2022 (Lexington, KY): 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.”

Virginia HBPA Director Frank Petramalo presents TAA’s Suzie Oldham with a check for $66,000.

“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.

About Colonial Downs

Colonial Downs Group is a proud business operator in Virginia employing more than 1,000 team members in the Commonwealth, paying over $30 million in annual salaries, wages, and benefits. Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums® in Richmond, Hampton, New Kent, Vinton, and Dumfries offer innovative historic horseracing (HHR) gaming technology and full card simulcasting. Colonial Downs Group also recently opened a Rosie’s Game Room™ in Collinsville, which features a limited selection of some of their best HHR titles. Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent County hosts live thoroughbred racing on two nationally renowned surfaces – Secretariat Turf Course, the widest turf course in North America at 180 feet wide and on a 1 1/4-mile dirt track, second in length to only the world-famous Belmont Park. Colonial Downs Group has made a $300 million investment in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The company pays more than $32 million in annual state and local taxes plus an additional $12 million in racing industry payments annually. 

About the Virginia HBPA

The Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association is a non-profit organization whose members are owners and trainers licensed to race in Virginia by the Virginia Racing Commission. On their behalf it negotiates horsemen’s contracts with Colonial Downs and provides benevolent services for individuals working on the backside of the racetrack. The Virginia HBPA is affiliated with the National HBPA in Lexington, Ky. To learn more about the VHBPA, visit

About the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance

Based in Lexington, KY, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that accredits, inspects, and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retrain, rehome, and retire Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Along with continued funding from its original partners Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals, and other industry members. Since inception in 2012, the TAA has granted more than $24.5 million to accredited aftercare organizations. Currently 82 aftercare organizations and approximately 180 facilities across North America have been granted accreditation. To learn more about the TAA, visit