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.”

The Best Colonial Downs Meet Ever Set to Open July 19th

21-Day Meeting Features 25 Stakes Races Highlighted by New Kent County G3 Virginia Derby on Aug. 31

Join Colonial Downs and the Virginia Equine Alliance in person or from home as Virginia’s racing revival continues into its third season! A total of 25 stakes races worth more than $2.7 million will be offered at the upcoming seven-week Thoroughbred racing season at Colonial Downs — from July 19 through Sept. 1 — featuring a minimum $500,000 in average daily purses, the Grade 3 $250,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby on Aug. 31, enhanced horsemen incentives, and an expanded racing program for Virginia bred, sired, and certified horses. The 2021 meeting will be scheduled every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with daily first post time at 1:45 p.m. ET. All Colonial Downs races will be televised on TVG.

Live horse racing is back at Colonial Downs: Here's what you need to knowColonial Downs welcomes back fans to this year’s 21-day meeting with free admission. This meet marks the third consecutive increase in scheduled race days as Colonial Downs continues to emerge. Purses at the upcoming meet will start at an average minimum of $500,000 per day, with maiden races offered at $50,000.

The Colonial Downs barn area opened on Monday, July 5. The Colonial Downs’ condition and stakes book, stall applications and all horsemen information are available at colonialdowns.com/racing.

Colonial Downs began racing again in 2019 under new management of Colonial Downs Group. According to a newly released study conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics, Virginia’s horse racing and breeding industry generated an estimated economic impact of $542.1 million in the Commonwealth in 2019. Industry jobs, racing related expenditures and tax revenue have all risen since the General Assembly passed legalization of Historical Horse Racing machines in 2018, which enabled Colonial Downs to open and fuel the sport’s revitalization.

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At the forefront of safety and integrity, Colonial Downs this year became a member of the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Alliance to reduce equine fatalities and supports the federal legislation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA).

Colonial Downs Renowned Secretariat turf course and 1 ¼ Dirt Track Will Host an Expanded Stakes Schedule

Among the stakes program highlights for this year are:

The July 19 opening-day program will feature four $100,000 stakes on turf, three Virginia restricted, The Bert Allen (3&up, 1 1/16 miles) The Meadow Stable Stakes (3&up, 5 ½ furlongs) and The M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes (3&Up, Fillies and 5 ½ furlongs) and the Virginia Bred/Sired The Nellie Mae Cox Stakes (3&up, Fillies and Mares, 1 mile)

The Monday, July 26 card will include three open stakes on turf, headlined by the $150,000 Buckland Stakes for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles, along with two 5 ½-furlong $100,000 races in the Andy Guest for fillies and mares, and the Da Hoss Stakes for 3-year-olds and up.

On Monday, Aug. 23, Colonial will host four $100,000 stakes in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Series (MATCH) Series on the dirt track: The Victory Gallop, for 3-year-olds and up, and Love Sign, for fillies and mares, are both at 1 1/16 miles while the Chesapeake, for three-year-olds and Seeking The Pearl, for fillies and mares, are at six and seven furlongs, respectively. The 2021 MATCH Series is a cooperative venture between the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Colonial Downs, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Laurel Park.

Virginia Derby Day is slated for Tuesday, Aug. 31, and in addition to the 18th annual renewal of the G3 Virginia Derby that features some of the country’s top trainers, jockeys, and three-year-old turf horses, four other grass stakes will be on the card — the $150,000 Virginia Oaks, listed (3yo fillies, 1 1/8 miles), $150,000 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Old Nelson Stakes (fillies and mares, 1 1/16 miles), $100,000 Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes (2yo, 5 ½ furlongs), and $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes (2yo, 1 1/16 miles). Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) will broadcast live from Colonial Downs on Virginia Derby Day.

Popular horsemen incentive bonus programs also return this season: All owners who start a horse at Colonial Downs will receive the greater of $1,000 or their share of the purse money from the race. All trainers will receive $300 per horse started. Colonial Downs is pleased to extend a $15 donation per starter to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), which will be matched by the VHBPA.

Informing fans throughout the meeting, Colonial Downs is also extremely proud of this year’s talented broadcast team, led by the ever-popular Jason Beem, who is returning for his third season as the Colonial Downs track announcer. Jessica Paquette will be this year’s paddock host and handicapper, and Merv Huber will continue to provide morning line odds and guest analysis.

“Since we announced our race dates and purse program for the 2021 season, response from horsemen across the country has been extremely positive,” said Jill Byrne, Vice President of Racing Operations. “Our lucrative daily purse structure, attractive horsemen incentives, two fantastic racing surfaces and a varied stakes program, are key ingredients to launching an exciting and successful race meet.

“We are also very excited that this year’s meet is open again to fans, who can enjoy the thrill of the live racing experience.”

“Virginia’s horse owners and trainers are delighted to see an increase to seven weeks of racing with great purses,” said Frank Petramalo, Virginia HBPA Executive Director. “We can’t wait to break out of the gate for a successful summer meet.”

Benefits to Virginia-bred, Sired and Certified Horses

As a sustaining benefit to the Virginia Thoroughbred program, 12 stakes races, worth a combined $1.2 million, will be offered between Virginia-bred, sired, and certified horses.

Six $100,000 turf stakes for Virginia-bred/sired horses are scheduled, including five on the closing- day card. The Jamestown, Camptown, Brookmeade, Edward P. Evans and Punch Line will highlight the Sept. 1 finale in addition to The Nellie Mae Cox, on opening day. All are black-type events except for the Punch Line.

The Virginia restricted $100,000 Hickory Tree for 2-year-olds and $100,000 Keswick Stables sprint stakes highlight the Aug. 2 program, while the Aug. 9 $100,00 Van Clief Stakes (fillies and mares, 1 1/16 miles) will co-headline with the $75,000 Randolph Rouse Steeplechase Stakes that day.

source: ColonialDowns.com

Horse racing returns to Colonial Downs on July 19

horse racing blinkersLive horse racing at Colonial Downs plans to kickoff on July 19 in New Kent.

Thoroughbred horses and trainers from around the country will run every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for seven weeks beginning July 19 and concluded at Sept. 1. Post time each day will be 1:45 p.m.

Highlights for the coming season include daily purses of $500,000, opening week kick off with $400,000 in Virginia Bred and restricted stakes races, and more than $1.2 million in stakes during the closing weekend that will be highlighted by the Virginia Derby and Virginia Oaks premier races on Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Premium tickets go on sale on Mar. 15. General admission and parking remain free. For more information and the full racing schedule, visit www.colonialdowns.com.

Covid-19 and Horse Racing. No Fans as Colonial Opens

Colonial Downs planned to welcome folks back July 27 under Gov. Ralph Northam’s Phase 3 plan. With an extensive plan in place, Marshall said it would only allow 1,000 spectators at the track at the time and changed the regular weekend racing schedule to a Monday through Wednesday schedule.

“Our horsemen fully support the decision to conduct racing without fans at Colonial Downs this summer, otherwise the public risk is too great,” Executive Director Frank Petramalo Jr. said in a news release. “There is a bright spot. All of our races will be televised live on the TVG network and people can wager on TVG or on other online sites.”

A Look Back at the History of Colonial Downs Racetrack

Less than a year later, on May, 5, 2001, Scanlan had Borislow’s Talk Is Money in the Kentucky Derby. It was, to say the least, a temperamental horse that had been purchased for $2 million as a yearling. Scanlan originally referred to it as “Hanging Tree” because “if it doesn’t do too good, I may have to find a tree and hang myself from it.”

The horse quickly developed a knack for throwing jockeys. At Churchill Downs, prior to the 127th Run for the Roses, hall of fame jock Jerry Bailey withheld Talk Is Money from the post parade “for good reason,” said NBC’s Tom Hammond. “He’s tossed riders three times during parades.” That was about all the network had to say about the 47-1 longshot. If Hammond and friends mentioned Borislow, or Scanlan, we missed it.

Talk Is Money started 11th and finished last (17th), having suffered what was diagnosed as a heat stroke. Bailey walked the horse across the finish line. Scanlan later said, “Bailey was scared to death of him.”

Earlier, Scanlan told us off-the-record Talk had no business being in the Derby, but Borislow wanted to be there “to sit with the other owners.” Borislow died in 2014 at age 52….

More about the history of Colonial Downs and the people there:

Colonial Downs Re-opens Aug 8 with Secretariat Turf Course

The Secretariat Turf Course will be ready when Colonial Downs opens for live racing Aug. 8. The collaboration is part of a licensing agreement with the Tweedy family and Secretariat.com that also will feature an annual Secretariat Day at the racetrack as well as equine welfare fund-raising and other promotional opportunities, including festivities planned for Virginia Derby Day on Aug. 31.

“Colonial Downs is thrilled to partner with the Tweedy family and spotlight one of Virginia racing’s brightest stars, who was foaled less than 50 miles from our own gates,” said Jill Byrne, Colonial Downs Vice President of Racing operations. “Secretariat’s enduring legacy continues to reverberate with new generations of fans, and it is only fitting that Colonial Downs recognizes this native son of the Commonwealth.”

“My family and I are excited that live racing has returned to Virginia and that we can contribute by sharing the legacy of Secretariat.” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery. “The Secretariat Turf Course will no doubt witness great racing contests, something my mother and my grandfather would have especially loved to see. Our family also applauds Colonial Downs for their efforts to engage existing horse lovers and generate new racing fans.”

More….

Here’s what you need to know about Colonial Downs Live Racing Return

Live horse racing returns to Colonial Downs in August 2019 for the first time since the racetrack was shuttered in 2014.

There will be live thoroughbred horse racing on the track every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Aug. 8 to Sept. 7, including a daytime race on Labor Day and the Virginia Derby on Aug. 31.

Renovations on the turf and dirt tracks at Colonial Downs began last April, according to a past Tidewater Review report. Crews worked to burn all existing turf left on the track and resurface it with new turf. They also revitalized the stable areas, race offices, clubhouse and suites.

Daily purses will average a minimum of $500,000 throughout the 15-day race schedule, according to a news release from Colonial Downs Group, which took over the property last year. The Virginia Derby, a long-running racing meet, will feature a $250,000 stakes purse, the release states.

On Aug. 10, the first Saturday of the racing schedule, you can expect to see four stakes races on the turf course, each with a $100,000 purse, according to the release.

More about Live Racing at Colonial Downs: