Colonial Downs Announces Stakes Schedule for 2024

Festival of Racing Slated for August 10; Virginia Derby Scheduled for September 7
Topped by a quartet of graded races, Colonial Downs unveiled its 2024 stakes program consisting of 27 races worth $5.7 million for the 27-day season which runs from Thursday,
July 11 through Saturday, September 7.

Colonial Downs will begin its summer thoroughbred season on July 11th.

The Colonial Downs Festival of Racing, slated for Saturday, August 10 is highlighted by the Grade 1 Arlington Million, the Grade 2 $500,000 Beverly D. and the Grade 2 $500,000 Secretariat Stakes, the traditional weekend for the renowned trio. The Million will be run at 1¼ miles, the Beverly D. will be contested at 1-3/16 miles and the Secretariat covers one mile. All three races are slated to be run over Colonial’s acclaimed Secretariat Turf Course.

Once again, the Beverly D. has been selected as a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf to be held at Del Mar in California on Saturday, November 2.

The 2023 Beverly D stakes trophy.

Festival Day is being expanded for 2024 to include 4 additional stakes races: the $100,000 Petramalo Mile, a one-mile dirt race for 3-year-olds and its sister race, the $100,000 Penny Chenery at seven furlongs; the $150,000 Van Clief for 3-year-olds & up at 5½ furlongs on the turf and its distaff companion event, the $150,000 Andy Guest.

The Grade 3 $500,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby, Colonial’s longtime signature event, will be raced on closing day, Saturday, September 7. The 1-1/8 miles grass race headlines a card with $1.3 million in stakes purses including five other turf stakes: the $250,000 Virginia Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1-1/16 miles; the $150,000 Da Hoss Stakes for older horses at 5½ furlongs; the $150,000 Colonial Cup a 1½-mile marathon for 3-year-olds & up; the $125,000 Rosie’s Stakes for 2-year-olds sprinting 5 ½ furlongs; and the $125,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes for 2-year-olds over a two-turn 1-1/16 miles on turf.

Integration captured the 2023 Virginia Derby (Coady Photography)

Last year’s major stakes races at Colonial netted several notable winners: Da Hoss victor Nobals went on to capture the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita; Fev Rover, who took the Beverly D., added the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine to her already impressive resume; and Virginia Derby hero Integration later scored in the Grade 2 Hill Prince at Aqueduct. More recently, 2023 Virginia Derby runner up Program Trading captured the Grade 1 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

Opening weekend action includes three new turf stakes: the $125,000 Million Prep at 1-1/8 miles; $125,000 Beverly D. Prep over 1-1/16 miles; and the $125,000 Boston at one mile, which will serve as a prep for the Secretariat.

The following Saturday, July 20, a quartet of turf races for Virginia-bred or -sired older runners are on the docket: the $125,000 Brookmeade for filles and mares at 1-1/16 miles, the $125,000 Edward P. Evans at one mile, and the $125,000 Punch Line and $125,000 Tyson Gilpin/Glenn Petty both at 5½ furlongs with the latter of the pair restricted to fillies and mares.

Galilei prevails in the 2023 Brookmeade Stakes at Colonial Downs (Coady Photography)

A pair of 2-year-old races for Virginia-restricted runners – the $150,000 Hickory Tree and its sister race the $150,000 Keswick – headline the Saturday, August 3 program. Both races have been lengthened to 5½ furlongs on the dirt.

Commonwealth Champions Day is scheduled for Saturday, August 31 and is highlighted by a quintet of turf races saluting Virgina runners: the $125,000 Jamestown is for Virginia-bred or -sired 2-year-olds going 5½ furlongs while the remaining four events are for Virginia-restricted horses – the $150,000 Meadow Stable for older horses at 5½ furlongs and its female companion race the $150,000 Camptown; and the $150,000 Bert Allen and its filly and mare counterpart, the $150,000 Nellie Fox, both at 1-1/16 miles.

Additionally, there will be two $100,000 stakes races for fillies and mares presented by the National Steeplechase Association, the Randolph D. Rouse on Thursday, August 8 and the Life’s Illusion on Thursday, September 5.

Condition books and stall applications are available online at under the horsemen’s tab. Stall applications are due Tuesday, May 21.

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. 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, Emporia, 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 2024 live racing season, which consists of 27 days from July 11 through September 7, is highlighted by the Grade 1 Arlington Million, Grade 2 Beverly D. and Grade 2 Secretariat Stakes on August 10 and the Grade 3 New Kent County Virginia Derby on September 7. The Beverly D. is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win & You’re In” race.