Scenes From This Past Week’s Controlled Burn At Colonial Downs

This past Tuesday, Virginia Equine Alliance Track Superintendent J.D. Thomas, in conjunction with the New Kent Fire Department and the Department of Forestry, set fire to the Secretariat Turf Course at Colonial Downs in New Kent.

The fire’s intent was to burn dead cover of the top of the 180 foot wide surface. Within a week or two, Thomas expects a lush green surface to materialize in preparation for racing again in 2019.


J.D. Thomas oversees the burn in New Kent.
Staff helps to douse burning embers from the controlled burn.


The fire started with the wind in turn four near the top of the stretch. At this point, it is turn two and heading down the backstretch.
With the controlled burn, horses are expected to make use of the start/finish line in 2019.

Click on the link below to see footage of J.D. Thomas setting fire to another section of the Colonial Downs turf course.

colonial track burn