Coloial Dows has cancelled the remainer of its meet, a bitter pill for stteplechasing
- August 15, 2020
- By Staff Writers
Colonial Downs canceled the remainder of its 2020 meeting due to COVID-19, the track announced Friday evening, Aug. 14.
This cancels the remaining steeplechase races at the meet, which had three scheduled for Monday, Aug. 17.
"Horrible," said Jonathan Sheppard's assistant trainer Keri Brion after hearing the annoncement.
Sheppard, who was just one win away from catching Jack Trainer in Leading Trainer, Races won, had four entered on Aug. 17.
Saratoga and the NYRA are continuing to run steeplechase races each week.
But steeplechasing has suffered many lost meets due to Covid-19, and the fall season is not yet finalized.
Colonial Downs canceled racing Tuesday and Wednesday. Aug. 11 and 112 after leading jockey Trevor McCarthy tested positive for COVID-19, per a report in Daily Racing Form.
“Colonial Downs Group places the health and safety of our team, partners and visitors as our top priority,” a statement from Colonial Downs read.
“We established thorough protocols prior to the 2020 racing season to address any issues that may arise from the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of recent test results at the track in New Kent County, and in an abundance of caution, Colonial Downs is cancelling the remainder of its 2020 meet. In making our decision, we collaborated with the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent Protection Association (VHBPA) and Virginia Racing Commission. We have communicated the outcome with all participating parties. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s cooperation and support. This was a difficult decision, but the best one for Virginia’s racing community. We are already starting to make plans for the 2021 meet at Colonial Downs and are optimistic for a safe return in a better health environment for our nation, state and community.”
The meeting was slated to conclude Sept. 2.