Colonial Downs Conducts Annual Controlled Burn of Secretariat Turf Course on March 18

The annual controlled burn of the Secretariat Turf Course at Colonial Downs took place Monday March 18 at the New Kent track. The grass oval is set ablaze at this time every year to quickly and efficiently remove dead cover off the surface’s top player. The burn also drives nutrients deeper into the ground to provide a green, lush and safe racing surface in time for the summer racing which begins July 11 and continues through September 7.

The 2024 burn was completed in a record time of just over one hour. The burn was conducted under the supervision of Colonial’s Senior Director of Racing Operations Frank Hopf, new Director of Track Operations Leif Dickinson and of course, New Kent Fire & Rescue.

The 9-week summer thoroughbred season will feature daily average purses in the $700,000 range along with racing Thursdays and Saturdays at 1:30 PM and Fridays at 4:30 PM. Photos of the controlled follow (overhead photos provided by Mitchell Bradley)