Thoroughbred racing delay costing New Kent County

Moore believes that Godsey has done an excellent job training horses for Colonial Downs. “She's in the worst position,” she said. “She deserves a better chance than she's getting right now.”

Moore said that shipping horses in July and August is hard on everybody because of Virginia's heat.

Race enthusiasts are concerned

Newport News resident Bob Dennis is frustrated that he has not been able to bet on thoroughbred racing as in past years.

“It's so restricted because of this whole situation,” he said. ”You pay to be able to use the OTBs and now we can't even bet on thoroughbred racing.

“I don't understand why we don't have thoroughbred racing at Colonial Downs because Virginia is horse country.”

Dennis usually bets two or three times a week at the Colonial Downs' OTB sites. However, he is planning on going to Maryland or South Carolina to bet on thoroughbred racing.

“It's just something that I love,” Dennis said.

Although fellow horse racing enthusiast Tad Berman admitted that he hasn't really been affected by the suspension of wagering on thoroughbreds because he subscribes to HRTV and TVG Network, which both broadcast thoroughbred races live from different tracks all over the country, he said he is concerned that a 2014 thoroughbred race season at Colonial Downs could mean fewer horses.

“If the horsemen agree to a ship-in meet only, where the backstretch is closed, that means that many of the stables that would bring their horses in from places like Florida, Ohio, New York, etc., won't come,” said Berman. “And that will mean a lot fewer horses available for each race.”

“Guys like me don't want to make a bet on a race with only five or six horses, so that alone will serve to decrease handle and attendance.”

Dennis and Berman aren't the only ones who love horse racing. According to Colonial Downs representative Darrell Wood, an average of 2,000 people visit the racetrack every day during the summer, with Father's Day bringing in around 6,000 people. During the Independence Day holiday, the track averages 7,000–8,000 people, and the Virginia Derby brings in 7,000–10,000. Even though it's on the schedule for July 12 this year, for the Derby to be held, a contract must be signed.

Cindy Laraway contributed to this article.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.