Monthly Archives: August 2023

ATTENTION BREEDERS: Don’t miss your opportunity to earn breeders awards for 1st – 3rd place in open races anywhere in North America!*

To register a 2024 foal as a Virginia-bred:

Foals must be dropped in Virginia and the foal’s dam must reside in Virginia from September 1st, 2023, until foaling in the following year. Mares purchased at public sale after September 1st may enter the program if they arrive at a Virginia Facility within 15 days of the purchase date (60 days if purchased outside of the U.S.)

If you have not registered your mare facility, please do so by completing a Virginia Facility Registration form by selecting the link below and downloading.

Resident Mare reports are due to the VTA by October 1, 2023. Complete a Virginia Mare Residency Report form by selecting the link below and downloading. Note that an online application system will be available by mid-September.

*Upon approval by the Virginia Racing Commission

Click here to access all VTA forms.

Virginia Derby Day Nominations Set for September 9 Closing Day Card at Colonial Downs

Six Stakes Worth $1.3 Million to be Contested

(NEW KENT, Va. August 28, 2023) –The 20th running of the G3 New Kent County Viginia Derby – showcase event on the September 9 closing day card at Colonial Downs that also includes five additional turf stakes – attracted a total of 38 nominations including nine from the Todd Pletcher stable. The 1-1/8 miles Virginia Derby carries a $500,000 purse, up $200,000 from 2022. All six stakes, with combined purses of $1.3 million, will be drawn on Wednesday September 6.

Among Pletcher’s contingent are LSU Stables’ Far Bridge and Spendthrift Farm’s Major Dude. The former won the G1 Belmont Derby July 8 and before that, had back-to-back seconds in a pair of G2 stakes – the Pennine Ridge at Belmont and American Turf at Churchill. Most recently, the English Channel colt finished third in the G1 Saratoga Derby Invitational. The latter has already bankrolled $754,645, aided by a trio of stakes wins in the G2 Penn Mile, G3 Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream and the G3 Pilgrim. The Bolt d’Oro colt most recently finished fourth in the G2 Secretariat Stakes held at Colonial August 12. 

The first- and second-place finishers in the Secretariat Stakes have been nominated. A neck separated Iapetus Racing and Diamond T. Racing’s Virginia-bred Gigante and Little Red Feather Racing, Madaket Stables and William Strauss’s Nagirroc at the wire in a thriller. After Pletcher’s pair, Gigante and Nagirroc hold the third and fourth highest bankrolls of all nominees with $737,000 and $506,550 respectively. The latter is trained by Graham Motion, winner of two straight Virginia Derbies in 2019 and 2021, who nominated three (the Derby was not held in 2020 due to Covid).

 Virginia-bred Gigante (inside) edges Nagirroc in the G2 Secretariat Stakes August 12 at Colonial Downs (Coady Photography) 

Chad Brown has three Derby nominees including Klaravich Stables’ Program Trading who is 3-for-3 and fresh off a win in the G1 Saratoga Derby Invitational. The English-bred also prevailed in a maiden special weight at Monmouth and in a Belmont allowance. 

Brad Cox nominated two including Godolphin’s Wadsworth who has a pair of stakes wins at Ellis Park – the American Derby and Kentucky Downs Preview Dueling Grounds Derby. The Quality Road gelding is 4-for-9 with earnings of $411,886.    

The featured undercard stakes is the 14th running of the $250,000 Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks which attracted 38 nominations. The 1-1/8 miles turf test is for 3-year-old fillies. Graham Motion nominated the most with six including RyZan Sun Racing and Madaket Stables’ Mission of Joy whose resume includes a pair of G3 stakes wins in the Regret Stakes at Churchill and Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs. The Kitten’s Joy filly is 4-for-7 with a $293,317 bankroll.

Black Type Thoroughbreds, Swinback Stables, Steve Adkisson, Christopher Dunn and Anthony Spinazzola’s Sacred Wish finished second by a neck in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga July 22. The Not This Time filly also had a runner-up finish in the Gulfstream Park Oaks April 1.

The $150,000 Biosaphe Colonial Cup, a 1 ½-miles turf race and new this year to the Virginia Derby Day lineup, has attracted some intriguing contenders among its 41 nominees including seven who have reached the winners circle in G1 or G2 stakes in 2022 or 2023. 

Trinity Farm’s Red Knight has competed in three straight G1 events and captured the first of that trio – the Man o’ War at Belmont May 13. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Speaking Scout was best in the G1 Hollywood Derby last fall at Del Mar. Among the nominated G2 winners are James and Donna Daniell’s Offlee Naughty; Three Diamonds Farm and Pura Vida Investments’ Stolen Base; NBS Stable’s Spooky Channel, Michael Dubb’s Therapist; and Paradise Farms and David Staudacher’s Temple. 

A total of 35 turf sprinters have been nominated for the $150,000 Korbel Da Hoss Stakes to be contested at 5-1/2 furlongs. Patricia’s Hope’s Nobals has collected impressive wins this year in the G2 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill and in the G3 Troy Stakes at Saratoga. The Larry Rivelli trainee has earned $843,274. Michelle Lovell and Griffin Farm’s 7-year-old Justin Phillip gelding Just Might has also been nominated. The million-dollar earner won the 2021 Da Hoss, one of four stakes in New Kent in which he has competed.

A pair of $125,000 stakes for two-year-olds round out the under card – the Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes at 5-1/2 furlongs and the TAA Kitten’s Joy Stakes at 1-1/16 miles. A total of 43 have been nominated to the former and 36 to the latter. 

High earner amongst the Rosie’s nominees is R.A. Hill Stable, BlackRidge Stables, Swinback Stables, Big Tufff Stables and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Amidst Waves. The George Weaver trainee has captured back-to-back stakes and currently has earnings of $194,000. The Midshipman filly won the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth July 29 and the Bolton Landing Stakes at Saratoga August 20. Impressive as well is Paradise Farms Corp., David Staudacher, Kevin Haynes and John Huber’s Ship Cadet who has a win and two seconds in three stakes appearances.

Repole Stable’s Noted, a Todd Petcher trainee, is most prominent among the Kitten’s Joy nominees. The Cairo Prince colt won the $206,000 Sapling Stakes August 26 at Monmouth which followed a maiden special weight score at Saratoga one month earlier.

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.

Virgnia-Bred Gigante Pulls Off Massive Upset in $500,000 Secretariat Stakes at Colonial Downs

Iapetus Racing and Diamond T Racing’s Virginia-bred Gigante made his triumphant return to the winner’s circle by pulling a massive 22-1 upset victory in the August 12 Grade 2 $500,000 Secretariat Stakes at Colonial Downs. The race was held in Virginia for the first time, making the victory for the Commonwealth that much sweeter.

Virginia-bred Gigante (#2) wins the G2 Secretariat Stakes (Coady Photography).

Gigante, the 2022 Virginia-bred Champion 2-year-old, was ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Steve Asmussen and covered the one-mile over firm going in 1:35.10.

“I feel blessed Asmussen (trainer Steve) gave me the opportunity to ride that horse. I think I got along pretty good with him in the post parade. He acted very professionally. I had the best trip in the race. (I was) where I wanted to be today. There seemed to be a lot of speed in the race. I tried to use my patience. He broke so well from the gate and put me in good position. I just took my time and rode with a lot of patience, a lot of confidence and had the best result today.”

Gigante (inside) prevails in the Secretariat (Coady Photography)

Mo Stash was hustled hard from the starting gate in the Secretariat Stakes and was joined by the forward-placed Major Dude as they entered the first turn. Following an opening quarter-mile in :23.67, Gigante was positioned in last but only 3½ lengths off the lead. The field began to bunch entering the far turn after a half-mile in :48.03 as Castellano began asking Gigante for his best run. At the quarter-mile pole, Gigante made a bold bid for the lead and took command into the lane but had to hold off the late charge of Nagirroc. Gigante kept finding more on the lead and was able to hold his rival at bay by a neck. It was another 1 ¾ lengths back to Silver Knott in third who was followed in order by Major Dude, Northern Invader and Mo Stash.

The Secretariat Stakes trophy was presented by VRC Chairman Stephanie Nixon and Kate Tweedy of Secretariat fame.

Gigante, the longest priced horse in the field of six 3-year-olds at 22-1 rewarded his backers by returning $2 mutuels of $47.80, $15.20 and $5. Nagirroc, under Flavien Prat, paid $3.80 and $2.60. Silver Knott, who was ridden by Jamie Spencer, returned $2.80.

With his victory in the Secretariat Stakes, Gigante improved his overall mark to 9-4-0-1 and boosted his overall purse earnings to $583,550.

Gigante is a 3-year-old son of Not This Time out of the Empire Maker Mare Summertime Green. He was bred in Virginia by Ann Mudge Backer and Smitten Farm.

Gigante and jockey Javier Castellano return to the winner’s circle.

Colonial Downs was the starting point for Gigante. He broke his maiden here one year ago on the dirt and subsequently demolished a field of seven rivals in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes on turf.

Nominations Set for Colonial Downs’ Commonwealth Champions Day on September 2  

Nominations closed August 18 for five all-turf stakes on the Commonwealth Champions Day program scheduled for Saturday, September 2 at Colonial Downs that will showcase Virginia-bred, -sired and -certified horses with $725,000 in purse money on the line. Four of the $150,000 stakes – the Camptown, Bert Allen, Meadow Stable and Nellie Mae Cox – are open to horses in the three categories noted while the $125,000 Jamestown is for Virginia-bred and/or -sired 2-year-olds. 

Spun Glass wins the 2022 Camptown Stakes at Colonial Downs (Coady Photography)

The top three finishers in the 2022 Camptown are among the 31 fillies and mares that nominated to the 2023 edition which will be contested at 5½ furlongs. Larry Johnson’s Spun Glass won last year’s Camptown and recently was a close second in the Jameela Stakes at Laurel July 1 and Pimlico’s The Very One Stakes on May 19. The Michael Trombetta trainee has $324,729 in earnings. DARRS Inc.’s Rambert, who finished second to Spun Glass, and Mary Slade’s Island Philo who was third, is nominated too.

Other notable Camptown nominations include D. Hatman Thoroughbreds’ Determined Jester, winner of the 2022 Rosie’s Stakes and a turf allowance earlier this month, both of which took place at the New Kent track. Larry Johnson’s Hollywood Walk has won a Colonial turf allowance sprint in each of the last two years. Deborah Greene and Hamilton Smith’s Luna Belle may be the most intriguing of the nominees. The 4-year-old Great Notion filly reeled off five consecutive dirt stakes wins at Laurel between December 2021 and April 6 last year before finishing 11th in the 2022 G2 Black Eyed Susan Stakes. She has not competed since but still boasts a nominee-high bankroll of $381,570.

Determined Jester was best in the 2022 Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes (Coady Photography)

The Bert Allen Stakes attracted 20 nominations including Larry Johnson and RDM Racing Stable’s Sky’s Not Falling who sports a robust $294,480 turf bankroll. The 5-year-old Seville gelding won the $100,000 Maryland Million Turf Sprint Stakes last October and has been stakes placed twice at Colonial. 

Jeremy Brooks’ Wow Whata Summer won last year’s G2 Penn Mile Stakes and after that competed in the G3 Virginia Derby where he finished ninth. The 4-year-old Summer Front gelding took fourth in Colonial’s Kitten’s Joy Stakes as a 2-year-old. 

Also nominated is Ten Strike Racing’s Alex Joon who captured the Edward P. Evans Stakes by three lengths July 15 at Colonial. The 6-year-old Flatter gelding also won an allowance over the same New Kent grass course last summer.  

Alex Joon kicked off the 2023 Colonial Downs meet with a win in the Edward P. Evans Stakes (Coady Photography).

The Bert Allen is for horses aged three-and-up at 1-1/16 miles.   

The winner of last year’s Nellie Mae Cox Stakes and the top four finishers from the current meet’s Brookmeade Stakes have all nominated to the 2023 Cox Stakes along with 23 other fillies and mares who will vie 1-1/16 miles. 

Windylea Farm’s Tass edged O’Sullivan Farms’ Unruly Julie by a nose in a thrilling 2022 edition and both have nominated again. The former is a Rob Atras trainee with $350,919 in earnings while the latter is conditioned by Javier Contreras and is fresh off a third-place finish in a $90,000 allowance at Colonial August 2. 

#11 Tass edges Unruly Julie to win the 2022 Nellie Mae Cox Stakes (Coady Photography).

Country Life Farm’s Galilei prevailed in the July 15 Brookmeade while Susan Moulton’s Tufani, Larry Johnson’s Continentalcongres and Audley Farm Stable’s Bode’s Heritage finished next in line. All four have been nominated.

A total of 28 horses aged three-and-up have been nominated for the Meadow Stable Stakes sprint including the top two finishers from the 2022 renewal – $570,683 earner Boldor and trainer Madison Meyers’ Grateful Bred. The former is owned by Ed Orr and Susie Orr and has reached the winners circle in two other Virginia-bred stakes – the 2021 and 2019 editions of the Punch Line. The latter won the Meadow Stable Stakes in 2021 and was a runner-up in last year’s Van Clief.

Boldor wins the 2021 Punch Line Stakes at Colonial (Coady Photography).

Capping off the stakes five-pack is the Jamestown, which has drawn 17 nominations that include a mix of 10 fillies and seven male juveniles. Two of the freshmen have reached the winners circle so far – Bird Mobberley’s Low Mileage and Mary Lightner’s Afterneath. The first, a Mineshaft filly, registered a maiden special weight victory on the dirt May 5 at Laurel while the latter won a maiden claimer over Colonial’s turf August 11.

Carmelina, Going Up Capture $150,000 Dirt Sprint Stakes Saturday at Colonial Downs

A pair of Pennsylvania-bred/Virginia-Certified 2-year-olds made their Colonial Downs debuts August 5 in $150,000 5-furlong dirt stakes, and both came away with victories — though they occurred in very different fashion.

Cash is King and LC Racing’s Carmelina and Robert and Tammy Klimasewski’s Going Up got their pictures taken respectively in the Keswick Stakes for fillies and Hickory Tree Stakes for males. 

Carmelina captured the 5-furlong Keswick Stakes for 2-year-old fillies August 5 at Colonial (Coady Photography).

The former departed from post position eight in a nine-horse field, settled into third after the start then surged on the outside just before the wire to edge M3 Racing Stable’s Beachfront Breeze and No Guts No Glory Farm’s Remember Me. The Maximus Mischief filly crossed one-half length the best in :58.39 with Mychel Sanchez up. 

Robert Reid Jr. trains the winner who is now 2-for-3 with earnings of $134,800. She dominated while breaking her maiden June 18 at Parx and came to New Kent fresh off a fifth place finish in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga.

Carmelina winning rider Mychel Sanchez and trainer Robert Reid Jr. are shown after the big win.

“You never expect to win especially asking her to come back for a third start in a month and a half,” said Reid. “She shipped all the way from Saratoga just two days ago so it was a lot of work to get here but she came through. Mychel gave a perfect ride. I raced here a bit 20 years ago so initially I was happy with an outside post,” added Reid. “But I got to look where the gate was at the 5/8ths pole and it starts almost right on top of the turn. Mychel broke her sharp though and got her tucked in so she didn’t lose too much ground on the turn.”

As for what’s next, Reid echoed the same thought his rider brought back after the race. “Mychel said the same thing we were thinking — that she wants to go a little farther, so I think a 7/8ths might be perfect.”

Going Up authored a gate-to-wire performance in the Hickory Tree Stakes with Ronnie Allen up (Coady Photography).

Going Up on the other hand did not need a late rally to capture the Hickory Tree. The Mineshaft gelding went to gate-to-wire in beating seven other freshmen males by a comfortable 6-3/4 lengths in :57.04. Jockey Ronnie Allen directed the winning effort for trainer Ron Potts. KP Racing Stables’ Jubawithatwist finished second and Ray Pennington’s King Kontie, the betting choice, was third. 

Going Up broke his maiden May 31 at Presque Isle then followed with a third in the Victoria Stakes at Woodbine July 16.               

“He’s been training well, he’s a cool dude and he takes everything in stride,” said co-owner Tammy Klimasewski. “Nothing bothers him. He acts like he’s been around the world three times. We couldn’t ask for a better trainer and rider. We have a great team.”

The winning connections of Going Up had to wait out a double objection to confirm their well-earned victory (Coady Photography).

“The result was not a surprise,” added Robert Klimasewski. “His mother was a great racehorse and he has dirt pedigree on both sides up and down. He’s been known to not let anybody go by him so when he gets out on the lead, he’s really tough, even in the mornings when they’re working. He outworks everyone and just won’t let anybody get by him.”

Colonial Downs returns to action Thursday with a 9-race card beginning at 1:30 PM. Next Saturday’s (August 12) “Festival of Racing” program will be drawn Wednesday and features three graded stakes — the G1 Arlington Million, G1 Beverly D and G2 Secretariat Stakes.

Field of Eight 3-Year-Olds Set to Battle One Mile in G2 Secretariat Stakes August 12 at Colonial Downs  

The “Festival of Racing” program at Colonial Downs, scheduled for Saturday August 12, features three major graded stakes races — the G1 Arlington Million (Race 10), G1 Beverly D (Race 9) and G2 Secretariat Stakes (Race 8). A total of $2 million in purse monies will be on the line between those three stakes. The first of 11 races is scheduled for 1:30 PM and general admission is free!

(NEW KENT, VA — 8/9/2023) — The second, third and fourth place finishers in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf will square off against each other in a rematch Saturday in the G2, $500,000 Secretariat Stakes at Colonial Downs, a key under card stakes on the 11-race Festival of Racing program which includes the G1 Arlington Million and G1 Beverly D. A field of eight 3-year-olds will compete one mile over the Secretariat Turf Course in the eighth race stakes which is being contested for the first time since 2021.

Silver Knott arrived in the Colonial Downs backstretch at 3 AM Thursday August 10.

Godolphin LLC’s Silver Knott was the betting choice in that November “Cup” race at Keeneland where he had a strong runner-up finish to Victoria Road, losing by just a nose. The Lope de Vega colt, who was bred in Great Britain, is fresh off two summer starts at Belmont Park where he was fifth most recently in the G1 Belmont Derby and a close third in the G2 Pennine Ridge Stakes before that. The Charles Appleby trainee has three career wins, all coming at tracks in England. The 3-1 second early choice will be ridden by Jamie Spencer. Overall, Silver Knott has amassed $326,676 in earnings.

Silver Knott quickly adapted to his new surroundings in the New Kent backstretch. He is the second early choice at 3-1 odds.

Little Red Feather Racing, Madaket Stables and William Strauss’s Nagirroc finished third in last year’s Juvenile Turf and to date this year, has finished second in the G3 Transylvania Stakes, third in the G2 Manila Stakes and in between, authored a track record performance in winning the James W. Murphy Stakes on the Preakness under card at Pimlico. The Lea colt has top-three finishes in all of his eight career starts and has bankrolled $407,550. Flavien Prat, who has ridden Nagirroc in his last four starts, will be in the irons for trainer Graham Motion from post ​three as the 5-2 early pick.

BBN Racing’s Mo Stash, fourth in the “Cup” — crossing just three lengths behind the winner — has continued his front running form since. The Mo Town colt went gate-to-wire in the G3 Transylvania then came just short in a pair that followed. He was a respectable fourth in the G2 American Turf at Churchill and close second in the American Derby at Ellis Park. Victoria Oliver trains and jockey Florent Geroux will lead from post four. Mo Stash has accumulated $460,375 in earnings. 

The amazing bronze statue of Secretariat will be at Colonial Downs August 12 for fans to enjoy. Sculptor Jocelyn Russell (left) will be on hand to meet fans of “Big Red” and answer questions.

Spendthrift Farm’s Major Dude, who has won the G2 Penn Mile and G3 Kitten’s Joy Stakes already this year, departs from post ​six with jockey Tyler Gaffalione. The Todd Pletcher trainee’s 11 career starts are the most of any in the field and his $729,895 in purse winnings are tops. In 2023 alone, the Bolt d’Oro colt has bankrolled $554,645 and has placed in five of six stakes. He took second in the Dania Beach and G3 Jeff Ruby Steaks events and was third in the G2 American Turf. Most recently, Major Dude was fourth in the G3 Manlia at Belmont.

Victory Racing Partners’ More Than Looks will invade New Kent fresh off a 1-1/2 length triumph in the Manila. The More Than Ready colt is 3-for-5 this year — his other two wins include a turf allowance score at Ellis Park and a maiden win at Gulfstream that was taken off the turf. Jose Lezcano will ride for trainer Cherie DeVaux from post seven.     

DeVaus also conditions West Point Thoroughbreds and David Ingordo’s Northen Invader who will be ridden by John Velazquez from post five. After a pair of seconds on dirt this spring at Churchill, the Collected colt switched to grass and romped by eight lengths in a July 1 maiden special weight at Belmont. 

Virginia-bred Gigante is shown winning the Kitten’s Joy Stakes in 2022. He will depart from post two in the Secretariat Stakes. He was bred by Ann Mudge Backer & Smitten Farm.

Rounding out the field are Mastic Beach Racing’s Tee At One and Iapetus Racing and Diamond T Racing’s Gigante, a Virginia-bred son of Not This Time. The former has a pair of wins and seconds from four career starts including a runner-up in the Kent Stakes July 15. Mychel Sanchez will direct the Tunwoo gelding for trainer Diane Morici. The latter was victorious in Colonial’s Kitten’s Joy Stakes in 2022 and he won the Caesar’s Handicap at Horseshoe Indianapolis May 17. Javier Castellano  will ride for trainer Steve Asmussen.

General Admission is free every day at Colonial Downs. Limited reserved seating remains available for Saturday and can be purchased at If you can’t make it to the races, the entire Colonial Downs Festival of Racing card will be broadcast on FanDuel TV and the FanDuel TV+ app. Live on-site coverage will on begin Thursday with Todd Schrupp, Scott Hazleton and Caton Bredar. Fans can wager on the Colonial Downs Festival of Racing card at wagering outlets throughout the country including, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated.              

The Biggest Day in Virginia Horse Racing History is Saturday, August 12 at Colonial Downs

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) is proud to bring three major graded turf course stakes races to the New Kent track for the first time, this Saturday, August 12 – the Grade 1 Arlington Million, the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes and the Grade 2 Secretariat Stakes. Combined purses for the three stakes races at the Colonial Downs Festival of Racing Presented by New Kent County are $2 million! All are very prestigious, have storied histories and all have been run for decades, mainly at Arlington International Racecourse which closed in 2021. Additional entertainment features being offered Saturday include a military flyover, honor guard, live bugler, musical performances, pony rides, petting zoo and a photo booth. Parking and general admission both remain free for this special event.

“Colonial Downs is taking things to a whole new level with these three stakes races under the new ownership of Churchill Downs,” said Frank Hopf, Senior Director of Racing Operations. “Our fans have come to expect a top rate experience and our first Festival of Racing will go beyond those expectations. Some of the top turf horses in the world will be running in New Kent County this Saturday and will bring international exposure to Virginia.”

The initial Arlington Milliontook place in 1981 and was the first thoroughbred race to ever offer a purse of $1 million. The Million, which received Grade 1 status in 1983, was geared to attract European horses before their year-end championship events in fall. The race annually attracts the best turf runners in the world.

The first Beverly D Stakes was run in 1987 and is for fillies and mares, three years of age and up. The stakes reached Grade 1 status in 1991. The winner of the 2023 Beverly D Stakes automatically advances to the “Cup” Championships at Santa Anita this November. Seven Beverly D winners have gone on to be voted American Championship Female Turf Horse.

Mark Casse’s Fev Rover has post position 1 in the August 12 Beverly D. She has $638,776 in earnings.

The Secretariat Stakesis named for the horse whom many consider to be the greatest of all time. Secretariat was born, raised, and trained at The Meadow Farm in Caroline County. “Big Red” was the 9th Triple Crown winner in 1973, sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in record-setting times that still stand today.

The Arlington Million trophy will be awarded at Colonial Downs on August 12.

The spectacular Secretariat “Racing into History” bronze statuewill be at Colonial Downs for fans to enjoy at the Festival of Racing. The breathtaking piece was sculpted by acclaimed artist Jocelyn Russell, who has trailered it to stops around the country this year including extended visits at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, Pimlico Racecourse for the Preakness, and Belmont Park for the Belmont Stakes. The statue, which will be permanently based in Ashland if fundraising goals are met, is 1.5 times Secretariat’s actual size and showcases the horse racing full stride with jockey Ron Turcotte aboard.             

Premium tickets, full racing schedule and information for the Festival of Racing are available at 

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.

Pair of $150,000 Dirt Sprint Stakes for 2-Year-Olds Highlight Saturday Aug. 4 Action at Colonial

Cash Is King and LC Racing’s Carmelina and Ray Pennington III’s King Kontie are respective early favorites in co-featured $150,000 dirt sprint stakes for Virginia-Restricted 2-year-old horses Saturday (August 5) at Colonial Downs. The former heads a field of 11 in the Keswick Stakes for fillies while the latter heads a field of eight in the Hickory Tree for males. The pair will be contested as races 6 and 7 at the five-furlong distance.

Carmelina is a Robert Reid Jr. trainee who is fresh off a fifth place finish in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga July 13. The Maximus Mischief filly dominated though by 5-3/4 lengths in a maiden special weight at Parx Jun 18 in her only other  start. Carmelina, 5-2 early will leave from post ten with Mychel Sanchez up. 

Ultra Championship Racing’s Ran Out of Trainer is the second choice, based off a gate-to-wire effort July 6 at Charles Town where she crossed 6-1/4 lengths the best in her sole career outing. The daughter of Tonalist is trained by Anthony Farrior and will be ridden by Horacio Karamanos from post seven.

Trainer John Robb has two entered in the stakes. No Guts No Glory Farm’s Remember Me and Super C Racing’s Buckin’ Great —  both coming off dirt wins at Laurel — will depart from posts three and six with Jose Betancourt and Xavier Perez in the irons respectively.

King Kontie impressed opening week at Colonial Downs with a gate-to-wire maiden special weight triumph. The Karakontie gelding took an eight length lead into the head of the stretch and crossed 5-3/4 lengths in front. Jockey Fredy Peltroche is back on top and will lead King Kontie from the inside post.

Robert Klimasewski and Tammy Klimasewski’s Going Up is the second early pick. The Mineshaft gelding reached the winners circle May 31 in his career bow at Presque Isle and most recently, took a respectable third in the Victoria Stakes at Woodbine. Ronald Dale Allen Jr. will ride for trainer Ron Potts from post three.       


Originally Posted on the Secretariat for Virginia Monthly Newsletter for July 2023


The Secretariat Turf course is the largest turf course in America.  (Photo from Colonial Downs)

They may as well call it “Secretariat Day” at Colonial Downs on August 12! Our “Secretariat Racing Into History” monument will be there along with sculptor Jocelyn Russell and the Secretariat For Virginia Team.  The Secretariat Stakes, with a $500,000 purse, is one of the major races that day to be run on the Secretariat Turf Course, the largest turf (grass) course in America.  It is a one-mile race for three-year-old turf horses. Secretariat was one of those rare Thoroughbreds who could win on both turf and dirt.  Kate Chenery Tweedy will present the Secretariat Stakes trophy.  Two other prestigious races will be showcased – the Arlington Million with a $1 million purse and the Beverly D. Stakes with a $500,000 purse.  Colonial Downs is calling this the biggest day in Virginia racing history!  For more information about the full race program and tickets, see


Before he rolls into Colonial Downs, Secretariat will be in Middleburg on August 8 and 9. Fresh from a star-studded stay at Saratoga, the monument will be welcomed back to Virginia with a reception at the Middleburg Community Center. Our friends at the Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation are hosting this from 5-7 pm, followed by a free showing of the Secretariat movie. Kate Tweedy, who was in the film with her mother, Penny Chenery, will share her behind-the-scenes experience on the movie set. She and Jocelyn Russell will do a Q&A after the movie.  Copies of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend written by Kate Tweedy and Leeanne Meadows Ladin, will be available for purchase to benefit Loudoun Therapeutic Riding. For ticket info, see

On August 9, our Big Red bronze will be displayed in front of the National Sporting Library and Museum.  The museum will host a reception and presentations by Kate Tweedy and Jocelyn Russell from 5-8 pm. Kate will discuss Secretariat’s enduring popularity with fans and his continuing influence on Thoroughbred racing.  Jocelyn will describe her creative process of sculpting the monument, as well as her travels on the anniversary tour.  See ticket info at

Richard Stone Reeves painting of Secretariat at NSLM


Secretariat Racing into History will race over to Colonial Downs once more for the Virginia Derby on September 9.  Concluding his whirlwind Triple Crown Tour, this will be his final appearance on a racetrack. How fitting for this to top off his tour and the summer racing season on our own Virginia track!  See for more info.


While the monument’s tour is coming to a close, our fundraising is still very much in progress. We’ve had an amazingly successful summer, but the project needs about $125,000 to cover final installation costs. Your contribution will help place our hometown hero in a setting truly worthy of his legendary stature and Virginia roots.

PLEASE GO TO WWW.ASHLANDMUSEUM.ORG to make your tax-deductible donation soon!

As always, stay tuned to  and our social media for future updates. 

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Contact Wayne Dementi (804)363-0160