Colonial Downs Racing Season to feature more races, more fun

NEW KENT COUNTY — Colonial Downs Racetrack is offering more racing in 2022 as it seeks to build on a bumper 2021 season that saw it recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The highlight of the racing season is the Grade 3, $300,000 Virginia Derby for 3-year-olds which will be run on Sept. 6 along with the $200,000 Virginia Oaks for 3-year-old fillies. Both races will be held on the Secretariat Turf Course — named after the famous Triple Crown champion who was born in Doswell, Virginia. Horsemen will be competing for an average of $600,000 in daily purse monies, including more than $3.5 million in stakes races, according to the venue.

“Our theme this year is more racing, more fun,” said John Marshall, executive vice president of operations at Colonial Downs Group. “With everything we have to offer, including free general admission, Colonial Downs makes for an entertaining afternoon and evening out for everyone.”

Colonial Downs plans five different promotional give-away days, including a Secretariat T-shirt on opening day, a Colonial Downs water bottle on July 19, a cooling towel on Aug. 3, a camouflage hat on Military Day, Aug. 16 and a plush horse giveaway on Family Day, Aug. 23.

A new era began for Colonial Downs in 2019 when Peninsula Pacific Entertainment bought the venue. Colonial Downs originally opened in 1997, but horse racing stopped in 2014 due to a dispute between the then owners and the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association.

Peninsula Pacific Entertainment opened several Rosie’s gaming locations across Virginia — including in New Kent, Richmond and Hampton — that feature hundreds of slot-machine-like historical horse racing machines…

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-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 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, 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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