Colonial Downs

Record Purses for 2022 Colonial Downs Meet

Colonial Downs will offer a record of more than $600,000 in daily average purses and an expanded stakes schedule for the upcoming 2022 meet, starting July 11. The meet has six extra race days this year. The stakes schedule is highlighted by the $300,000 GIII Virginia Derby and $200,000 Virginia Oaks Sept. 6. Maiden special weight races during the meeting will carry a $60,000 purse. As a bonus, once again, all owners will be guaranteed $1,000 per start or their share of the purse money, and all trainers will receive...

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Music Fest Forces Maryland Summer Dates Switch

A two-day electronic dance music festival at Pimlico Race Course has forced a dates reshuffling of the first regularly scheduled summer race meet at the Baltimore track in 17 years. The Aug. 6 and 7 Moonrise, which is billed as one of the premier "rave" gatherings on the East Coast, drew about 30,000 people to the Pimlico infield each summer between 2014 and 2019 with no conflicts to the horse racing schedule. That's because the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) at that time chose to race during the summer months at...

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MATCH Series Returns in 2022

The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships Series (MATCH) returns for a 9th season with a $2.2 million stakes schedule that spans April 16 through Oct. 3 and more than $400,000 in bonus money for owners, trainers and breeders. The Series, a competition among horses in four divisions, is designed to identify the best horses, and their owners and trainers, in the Mid-Atlantic region. It will be contested this year at Laurel Park, Hollywood at Penn Gaming, Colonial Downs and Parx, with Parx hosting this year's Championship Day. Horses competing in MATCH earn...

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Colonial Downs Announces $3.5-Million Stakes Schedule

Colonial Downs Racing presented by Woodford Reserve, which kicks off its 27-day "More Racing, More Money and More Fun" Thoroughbred racing season July 11, has unveiled a $3.5-million stakes schedule highlighted by the 19th running of the GIII Virginia Derby. In all, 24 stakes will be contested over the nine-week campaign, 20 of which are scheduled for the Secretariat Turf Course, the widest grass racing surface in the country. Purses for the 2022 stakes program will increase by $850,000 over 2021 totaling over $3.5 million in stakes dollars up for...

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CDI To Acquire Colonial Downs

Churchill Downs, Inc. is set to acquire Colonial Downs, as well as several historical horse racing facilities in the state, after the company announced it has entered into a purchasing agreement to acquire the assets of the Virginia racetrack's owner, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment LLC. A Tuesday morning release from CDI put the value of the deal at $2.485 billion. "This unique set of assets expands our geographic footprint and provides additional scale," said Bill Carstanjen, Chief Executive Officer of CDI. "P2E has done an exceptional job developing and managing this...

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Colonial Downs Approved for Expanded Race Days in 2022

The 2022 Colonial Downs Race Meet presented by Woodford Reserve will feature 27 race days--up from 21--after the Virginia Racing Commission approved proposed race dates Wednesday. Average daily purse money is also expected to increase from $522,000 to $600,000. The nine-week meet will be held from July 11 to Sept. 7, with racing every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 1:30 p.m. A stakes schedule for the 2022 meet will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Colonial Season Ends on a High

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...

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Pricey Nyquist Half Debuts in VA

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 6th-CNL, $50K, Msw, 3yo, 7f, 4:05 p.m. ET Lidstrom (Tapit), the fourth-priciest lot at the 2019 Keeneland September sale on a $2.5-million winning bid from Godolphin, makes his debut here for trainer Mike Stidham. The grey is a half-brother to none other than champion juvenile, GI Kentucky Derby winner and now top young Darley sire Nyquist. He shows an upbeat tab at Delaware Park for this first go. TJCIS PPs

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Jockeys' Guild Partners With Colonial Downs

The Jockeys' Guild and Colonial Downs Group have entered into a long-term industry partnership agreement. Under the terms of the multi-year deal, Colonial Downs will contribute to the Guild to help subsidize health insurance, life insurance and temporary disability benefits for members who regularly ride at Colonial Downs, as well as benefits for all jockeys who are members of the Jockeys' Guild and ride in the United States. "The safety of both jockeys and equine athletes is a priority at Colonial Downs," said Jill Byrne, Vice-President of Racing Operations at...

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MATCH Series Returns to Colonial

The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships Series (MATCH) will return to Virginia's Colonial Downs Monday, Aug. 23. It will be the first time in 20 years Colonial will have been an part of MATCH. Colonial was an original MATCH partner when the series began in 1997 and opted to rejoin the series in 2020 before it was cancelled due to COVID-19. For more details on the series, click here. A total of 139 horses, pending late mail, have been nominated to the four $100,000 stakes at Colonial. Horses in the MATCH series...

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Colonial Downs Meet Begins with Record Opening Day Handle

Colonial Downs kicked off its 2021 racing season Monday with a record opening day handle of $2.66 million, spurred by a four-pack of $100,000 Virginia-restricted turf stakes races, and the return of fans to the New Kent track now in its third year under ownership of the Colonial Downs Group. "We would like to thank the horsemen, our fans on and off site and our team for starting the meet on the right foot," said John Marshall, Executive VP Operations for the Colonial Downs Group. "What a delight it was...

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Williams Named Colonial Safety Officer

Rick Williams has been named Safety Officer for Colonial Downs, it was announced Tuesday. Williams will begin his role when the Colonial backside opens up July 5 ahead of its summer race meet, which kicks off July 19. Williams has a diverse racing background that includes stints as a groom, jockey agent, and in several front side departments including photo finish, mutuels and track maintenance. Before retiring in 2012, he spent his prior 15 years in a regulatory position with both the Ohio and Kentucky Racing Commissions and was involved...

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