Officials at Colonial Downs have announced a $1.8-million stakes program for the track’s first meeting since 2013, scheduled for Aug. 7 through Sept. 7. Through an investment from the Colonial Downs Group, the track will offer daily average purse money of at least $500,000, which will comprise an approximate $7.5 million in total purse money allocated towards the season.
“As a native Virginian, it is exciting to be part of a strong team effort bringing racing back to Colonial Downs,” said Jill Byrne, former on-track and on-camera personality who serves as Colonial Downs’ Vice President of Racing Operations. “We are dedicated to the horse racing industry and making a positive impact in all aspects of it. We’ve received so much interest and support from horsemen, patrons, media and industry leaders and look forward to providing a fantastic racing experience for everyone.”
The stakes schedule is highlighted by the GIII Virginia Derby, a $250,000 event at nine furlongs on the turf and is the anchor of an Aug. 31 program that also features the $150,000 Virginia Oaks (Listed) and a pair of added-money heats for 2-year-old males and fillies.
“We are excited to welcome back horsemen to race at Colonial Downs with a highly competitive daily purse structure and comprehensive stakes schedule,” said Colonial Downs Racing Secretary Allison De Luca. “We offer a strong turf racing program with the widest grass course in the country that holds up extremely well to all weather conditions along with our 1 1/4-mile main track allowing us to provide a broad base of race options.”