Scenes From First Day Of Training At Colonial Downs

For the first time in six years, thoroughbred horses started to fill the Colonial Downs backstretch area this past week and began training on the main track. The first live racing season since the summer of 2013 will kick off Thursday August 8th at 5 PM.

Trainer David Bourke called the dirt track a “beautiful surface” after this horses trained on it July 26th.

The barn area opened Thursday July 25th and ten of the barns will be utilized this summer. Close to 40 horses shipped onto the grounds that first day.

David Bourke of Orange, Virgnia was the first trainer to ship in July 25th. He brought 7 horses, 6 of which were Virginia-breds.

When the track opened for training on July 26th, Colonial’s ownership group was there shortly after sunrise to welcome the first horses onto the track.

Members of the Colonial Downs ownership group—Larry Lucas, Brent Stevens and Prentice Salter—are joined by VP of Racing Operations Jill Byrne as the track opened for training.

First horse on the track was Bourke’s Janneydancer, ironically, the only non Virginia-bred horse he brought. The 6-year-old New York-bred won a maiden claimer at Saratoga in 2017.

David Bourke took Janneydancer out on the track at 6:15 AM July 26th, the first thoroughbred horse to train at the New Kent track in six years.

Here are some other images from July 25th and 26th.

A picturesque setting greeted two outriders and their horses as they set foot on the track July 26th.
Stall Superintenent Carlos Garcia prepares for move in day with his staff, Osbaldo Rivera and Virginia Santiago.
The starting gate was set up in the chute for gate training on the 26th.
Fashion Lane and Beat A Head were second and third horses on the track for trainer Paul Fout.
The Colonial Downs race office gears up for the meet. Allison De Luca (Director of Racing), Shane Burke (Stakes Coordinator) and Sam Randazzo (Placing Judge) are shown.
13-year-old Prideofthefleet, approaches the track for morning training. David Bourke’s horse is retired, but he won six races at Colonial from 2009-2012.
Jed Steffee (right) and assistant Trevor Lewis (left) brought four horses from Presque Isle in Erie, Pennsylvania. Steffee is originally from Staunton VA.
Dale Jackson of the Paul Fout Stables oversees the string at Colonial. He spent the 2010-2013 training horses in New Kent.