Colonial Downs concluded its 21-day season this week, highlighted by a new all-time daily average handle and over $10-million in purse distribution. In all, total handle was $46,867,078, a record average daily handle of $2,231,765. The 2019 meet–which was 15 days over five weeks–produced an average handle of $1,166,666, for a more that 91% increase.
“It is so gratifying to see the continued revival of Virginia racing as we mark new all-time handle heights,” said John Marshall, Colonial Downs Group Executive Vice President, Operations. “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 Colonial racing program generated a total of 1,713 starters for the 205 races conducted this year, for an average of 8.36 runners per race. A total of 148 races were contested over Colonial's Secretariat Turf Course. A total of 1,325 horses competed over turf, an average of 8.85 starters per race; and 388 horses participated in 57 dirt races for an average of 6.81 per race.
The Aug. 31 GIII Virginia Derby established a new all-sources handle single-day record of $4,890,704, 10% higher than the previous best of $4.4 million which was set on Virginia Derby Day in 2008.
In the battle for meeting titles, leading jockey Horacio Karamanos and Joe Rocco Jr. finished on par with 20 wins apiece, while Hamilton Smith led all trainers with 10 wins. Mike Trombetta, with eight wins, was the leading money earning trainer with $491,650.
Larry Johnson, owner of Legacy Farm in Bluemont, Virginia, was the leading owner with six wins, besting PTK, LLC who had five.