Virginia Derby to Run on a Saturday This Year; Big Crowd Expected for Day of Family Fun

Lots of excitement, special features, and premier horse racing are on tap for the 20th running of the New Kent County Virginia Derby on Saturday, September 9. The nation’s top 3-year-old turf horses will compete on the widest turf course in North America. The day will be highlighted by the Grade 3, $500,000 Virginia Derby® for 3-year-olds ($200,000 more than last year). Other stakes races will include the $250,000 Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks®, $150,000 Korbel Da Hoss Stakes, $150,000 Biosaphe Colonial Cup, $125,000 Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes, and $125,000 TAA Kitten’s Joy Stakes. A total of more than $1.3 million dollars will be up for grabs on Virginia Derby Day. Post time is 1:30 p.m. 

Kate Tweedy, daughter of Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery, looks out over the Secretariat Turf Course in New Kent.

Plenty of family friendly entertainment will be available on the grounds including pony rides, a petting zoo, strolling entertainment, face painter, juggler/magician & stilt walker. Fans can also enjoy the magnificent bronze Secretariat statue at Colonial Downs on Derby Day along with the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame’s Traveling Exhibit. The exhibit will be open during 4 consecutive days of racing at Colonial Downs starting Wednesday, September 6 and culminating on Derby Day, Saturday, September 9.

All six turf stakes will be contested over the Secretariat Turf Course.

“It has been a terrific season for Colonial Downs under the new ownership of Churchill Downs. We are proud of providing a high-level racing product along with added entertainment elements to Virginians this summer.,” said Frank Hopf, senior director of racing operations at Colonial Downs. “We look forward to concluding our successful meet with Virginia Derby Day on September 9th.”

Additional seating for Derby Day will be available in the banquet room. General admission and parking are free. For more information on 2023 Colonial Downs Racing presented by Woodford Reserve visit

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