NEW KENT – The Virginia Racing Commission (VRC) has changed its special meeting date from Thursday, June 19 at 10 a.m. to Monday, June 23 at 10 a.m. discuss the future of the 2014 thoroughbred season at Colonial Downs.
"I incorrectly sent out the called meeting without a subject and someone who regularly attends the meetings protested the meeting and so it was my mistake," said said VRC executive secretary Bernie Hettel in a phone interview Monday.
Hettel told the Review Friday that the VRC is still hopeful that Colonial Downs and the Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (VHBPA) will come to an agreement and sign a 2014 thoroughbred season contract.
"We're hoping that they can put together something for the meeting," he said.
Colonial Downs and the VHBPA have been unable to reach an agreement on the Virginia Racing Commission's request for a five-week, 25-day thoroughbred season this summer. As a result, four of the eight Off-Track Betting (OTB) facilities were shut down after arguments over the length of the thoroughbred season led to the contract's expiration in January. The remaining four OTB facilities also cannot take bets on any Virginia thoroughbred racing, since a contract has not been signed between Colonial Downs and the VHBPA. The thoroughbred contract deadlock does not affect harness racing.
The horsemen's association is a nonprofit organization made up of 1,300 thoroughbred owners and trainers who race at Colonial Downs and who awards purses, or set amounts of prize money, to the winners.
The Tidewater Review will be updating this story as information becomes available.
Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.