New Owner, New Amenities & High Stakes Races This Year at Colonial Downs

Colonial Downs® 2023 Racing Season Starts Thursday, July 13

NEW KENT, Va. (July 10, 2023) – The iconic Churchill Downs is bringing live racing back to Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent County. Weekend racing returns with top Thoroughbred horses from around the country every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with post time at 1:30 p.m. Also new this year are three high level stakes races at Colonial Downs showcased as part of the new Colonial Downs Festival of Racing card on Saturday August 12 featuring the prestigious Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat Stakes. It is expected to be the biggest day in Virginia horse racing history. Premium tickets, full racing schedule and information are available at

Colonial’s turf course and dirt track are ready to host horse races beginning July 13.

Family activities and entertainment will be offered trackside every Saturday with a new family friendly zone. Each Saturday will feature a rotation of activities including a petting zoo, face painters, a bounce house and more. Additionally, there will be five premium giveaway days. Baseball Caps will be distributed Opening Day, Thursday, July 13 followed by Plush Horses Friday, July 28, T-Shirts on Friday, August 11, Clear Stadium Bags on Friday, August 28 and Water Bottles on Friday, September 1.

The box seating area at Colonial Downs is a perfect way to enjoy the races.

Additionally, Colonial Downs is partnering with a new food and experience provider, Oak View Group (OVG), this season. Highlights include an outdoor Grab & Go marketplace concept with vendors including: The Sausage Guy (sausage, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders and fries), CM Concessions (freshly squeezed lemonade, cotton candy, fresh popcorn), Shake It Up (Milkshakes, etc.) and Bavarian Pretzels. The Jockey Club restaurant has a new Chef’s Table buffet menu and the 1609 Club will feature a bistro-style menu.

New Racing Secretary Stan Shina prepared for his first draw on Monday July 10.

“It’s an exciting time for Colonial Downs and New Kent County in 2023,” said Frank Hopf, Senior Director of Racing Operations. “The goal is to provide our guests a terrific experience and with the return of weekend racing, world class stakes races and new amenities, we are on the right path this season.”

Ken Gaber, President, OVG Hospitality commented, “We are thrilled to join forces with Churchill Downs Inc. to increase our presence in horse racing and take the fan experience at Colonial Downs to new heights. We believe fans deserve the very best, from food service offerings to efficient and quality service, and are pleased to welcome Colonial Downs into the OVG Hospitality family. We can’t wait to get started.”

A full barn area is expected for the 2023 summer race season.

About Colonial Downs

Colonial Downs Racetrack, in New Kent, Virginia, hosts live thoroughbred racing on two nationally renowned surfaces – the Secretariat Turf Course, the widest turf course in North America at 180 feet wide and on a 1 1/4-mile dirt track, second in length to only the world-famous Belmont Park.

The Colonial Downs Group, which is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), also operates Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums® in Richmond, Hampton, New Kent, Vinton, and Dumfries which offer innovative historic horseracing (HHR) gaming technology and full card simulcasting as well as Rosie’s Game Room in Collinsville, which features a limited selection of some of their best HHR titles plus full card simulcasting. The 2023 live racing season, which consists of 27 days from July 13 through September 9, is highlighted by the Grade 1 Arlington Million, Grade 1 Beverly D. and Grade 2 Secretariat Stakes on August 12 and the Grade 3 New Kent County Virginia Derby on September 9. The Beverly D. is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win & You’re In” race.

Fans can purchase beverages at the new trackside tent without missing any action.

About OVG360 

OVG360, a division of Oak View Group, is a full-service venue management and hospitality company that helps client-partners reimagine the sports, live entertainment, and convention industries for the betterment of the venue, employees, artists, athletes, and surrounding communities. With a portfolio of more than 240 client-partners spanning arenas, stadiums, convention centers, performing arts centers, cultural institutions, and state fairs around the globe, OVG360 provides a set of services, resources and expertise designed to elevate every aspect of business that matters to venue operators. Service-oriented and driven by social responsibility, OVG360 helps facilities drive value through excellence and innovation in food services, booking and content development, sustainable operations, public health, public safety and more.