A total of twelve Virginia Breeder’s stakes races worth a combined $1.2 million will be showcased at the upcoming seven-week summer thoroughbred racing season at Colonial Downs, which will be headlined by the 18th running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Virginia Derby. The meet in New Kent will run from July 19 – September 1 with racing every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Six $100,000 stakes for Virginia-bred/sired horses will take place including five on closing day’s card. The Jamestown, Camptown, Brookmeade, Edward P. Evans and Punch Line will highlight the September 1 finale lineup. A sixth, the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes, is part of opening day’s card and will complement a trio of Virginia-restricted stakes.
Those restricted stakes, also at the $100,000 purse level, are open to Virginia-bred, Virginia-sired AND Virginia-certified horses. In all, six are scheduled throughout the campaign. The Bert Allen, Meadow Stable and M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes highlight the kickoff card while another pair, the Hickory Tree and Keswick Stables sprint stakes, are on August 2. The Van Clief Stakes is a week later on August 9.
“We are excited once again to be able to run our six Virginia-bred/sired black type stakes at Colonial Downs,” said Debbie Easter, Virginia Thoroughbred Association Executive Director. “With a $100,000 purse for each race, we ought to attract the best Virginia-bred horses in training. The addition of six new $100,000 Virginia Restricted stakes, open to Virginia-certified, bred and sired horses, is a huge new benefit for our Virginia certified owners.”
The dozen stakes will all be contested over Colonial’s renowned Secretariat Turf Course, which is the widest grass racing surface in the country. At 180 feet across, the massive oval is divided in half to create an inner turf course and an outer turf course.
For more information on the summer racing season and a complete stakes schedule, visit colonialdowns.com. The barn area in New Kent will open on July 5.