Colonial Downs Racetrack Sets $2.23M Daily Wagering Record

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Virginia

Bettors laid down a record $2.23 million in average daily wagers on horse races at Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent during this year’s annual race meet, Colonial Downs Group announced this week.

The total amount bet on races during the seven-week racing season was $46.87 million, and a total of $10.4 million in purses were paid to owners, jockeys and trainers, averaging $522,000 per day. The program had 205 races and 1,713 horses in gates at the starts of races, for an average of more than 8 horses per race during the third season under the Colonial Downs Group banner.

Races were held Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from July 19 through Sept. 1 during this year’s racing season, the third held under the Colonial Downs Group banner. The racetrack’s 2020 meet was canceled after about two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is so gratifying to see the continued revival of Virginia racing as we mark new all-time handle [amount bet] heights,” John Marshall, Colonial Downs Group executive vice president of operations, said in a statement. “We have held true to our promise of building Colonial Downs into one of the country’s elite boutique meets. We thank our horsemen, fans and team for doing their part in making it so.”

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Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the 2018 NHC Tour with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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