THE RACINGBIZ.COM INTERVIEW WITH D.G. VAN CLIEF – PART 1

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VAN CLIEF (Left) WITH DON ROBERTSON AND SHELL EVANS. (G. Petty Photo)

(by Nick Hahn)

In January of 2013, D.G Van Clief, Jr., a prominent executive with a lengthy career in the Thoroughbred industry, took his first seat as regulator on the Virginia Racing Commission.  He is now vice chairman of the Commission.  The former Executive Director and President of the Breeders’ Cup, founding chairman of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and Chairman of Fasig-Tipton may have arrived back in Virginia at the perfect moment to assume a leadership role.

Within a year of joining the Racing Commission, Van Clief has reassembled the “blue ribbon” committee, which he chairs, to deliberately address current issues that test Virginia horse racing industry.  Over a decade ago a previous assemblage chaired by Anne Poulson was successful in bringing some growth to the industry prior to the economic downturn.  In bringing key partners to the table, Van Clief’s group seeks to move Virginia racing forward in a changing industry climate.

Van Clief’s roots in Virginia are deep.  For several generations, his family operated Nydrie Stud, located south of Charlottesville; and his grandmother bred 1947 Kentucky Derby winner Jet Pilot.  Van Clief also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

I spoke with Van Clief earlier this month about where Virginia racing is, what’s good about it and where it may be headed. The interview below is part 1 of a two-part series.

To read the interview, click here.

3 Responses to “THE RACINGBIZ.COM INTERVIEW WITH D.G. VAN CLIEF – PART 1”

  1. Hi Glenn – Good interview. We really need to hit the “Crisis” point hard – lack of racing days in Virginia. It is 80% of the problem. Need racing days. Best, David

  2. Fingers crossed this will be the start of something good for Virginia. The tide needs to turn and some collaborative efforts put forth. The requires some strong leadership and determination. At this point Virginia racing and breeding has no place to go but up.

  3. Francis Marion Bush Reply January 25, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    ITS GOOD TO SEE HIM IN THE MIX AGAIN. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE TO MERGE THE COLONIAL DOWNS ACTION WITH THAT OF THE STEEPLECHASE CROWD. THIS INDIFFERENCE BY THE STEEPLECHASE CROWD CONTINUES A HUGE BLOCK IN THE FLAT INDUSTRY. IT WILL REQUIRE A MAJOR CHANGE. PERHAPS THE VIRGINIA THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION ‘S NEW MANAGEMENT CAN CONVINCE VIRGINIA’S WEALTHY TO BUY COLONIAL DOWNS. THAT MIGHT GET SOMETHING DONE. OTHERWISE, A CONTINUATION OF SMALL CHANGES BENEFIT NEITHER THE STEEPLECHASE CROWD NOR FANS AT COLONIAL DOWNS.

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