Photos from Live Racing Preparations at Colonial Downs A new “Welcome” sign will greet racing fans as they enter the track in New Kent. One section of housing for backstretch workers looked quite nice on a recent morning. The Colonial Downs dirt track on the morning horses first set foot on it this summer. First horse on the track for training this year was Like a Salt Shaker. Clocker Shane Burke gets a birds of eye view of workouts every day from 6-10 AM. Colonial’s stellar track crew of Ken Brown, Harrison Young and Kelly Jackson tend to the Secretariat Turf Course and 1 1/4 miles long dirt oval. Stall Superintendent Carlos Garcia and VP of Racing Operations Jill Byrne prepare for an influx of 800-plus horses who will stable in the backstretch. Valets Richie Ramhkelawan and Donald Cusick lead a talented team of people that work the jockey’s room on race days. With racing office staff coming in from all over the country to work the Colonial Downs meet, you see all kinds of varied apparel. Horses from Kelsey Danner’s barn lined up next to each other to familiarize themselves with the surroundings in New Kent during a morning workout session. Sandy and John, along with their outrider horses, control the flow of morning workout activity on the track and especially provide a valuable safety element. Racing Secretary Allison DeLuca preps for the first post position draw of the season. Training for novice grooms and hotwalkers included a session on learning what every part of a horse is. Local trainers George Gregory and Gary Williams have been competitive friends at Colonial Downs since the track opened in 1997. Trainer Gary Williams, Heather Goodwin and George Gregory celebrate a win in the Colonial winners circle on September 1, 1997, opening day of the track 25 years ago! Colonial’s paddock area is in great shape. Fans can see horses prepare for the next race in this area. Another section of Colonial’s scenic paddock area is ready to welcome horses and horsemen come July 11. Gap Attendant Carrie Wellman displays the 2022 Virginia Derby saddle towels. The 19th running of Virginia’s richest annual race is September 6. A view from the grandstand roof the day before live racing begins. Race Caller Jason Beem and Track Handicapper Jessica Paquette provide a top-notch broadcast team on live race days.