Colonial Downs Opening Day Card (July 11) Features Full Fields and Top Barns

Casse, DeVaux, Stidham, McCaughey, Trombetta and more enter multiple runners

Opening Day of the 2024 Colonial Downs live racing season is Thursday, July 11, and the card has been drawn. The 12-race program features an average field size of 10.4, as 125 entries were taken with six of those sitting on the also-eligible list. Beginning with three National Steeplechase Association (NSA) races, first post on Thursday is 11:45 a.m. (all times Eastern).

The Old Dominion 6, a classic Pick 6 with a $1 minimum, includes five legs which are overdrawn or full at 12 runners. The Late Pick 5 with a 12% takeout is equally as flush with an average field size of 11.4. Eleven of the 12 races are scheduled for the Secretariat Turf Course. The lone dirt affair comes in Race 4, one of three events on the card for 2-year-old fillies. Leading freshman sire by earnings Complexity will be represented on the card, as will fillies from the first crop of Tiz the Law and McKinzie.

Last year’s top barns come out firing on Thursday. The 2023 top conditioner Michael Trombetta leads all with five entries. Michael Stidham enters three; Kelsey Danner, four. Mark Casse and Shug McGaughey are represented with two apiece.

In her first meet stabled at Colonial Downs, Cherie DeVaux enters three. Zartownis and Norwich will face off in the turf sprint allowance feature, which goes as Race 8, and Prouver enters the turf route allowance feature one race later.

Select Thursdays throughout the nine-week meet will begin with three steeplechase races, a hallmark of Colonial Downs racing. When Steeplechase races are carded, first post on Thursdays is 11:45 a.m. The flat contests begin at 1:30 p.m. on both Thursday and Saturday. New this year is later afternoon racing every Friday with a first post of 4:30 p.m.


The first three stakes races of the season – the $125,000 Million Preview, $125,000 Beverly D. Preview and $125,000 Boston – will be drawn on Saturday, July 6. All three races will be run over Colonial’s renowned Secretariat Turf Course on Saturday, July 13.

The Million Preview is for older horses at 1-1/8 miles; the Beverly D. preview is for older fillies and mares at 1-1/16 miles; and the Boston, which serves as a prep for the G2 Secretariat Stakes, is for 3yo’s traveling one mile.


New Carryover Rule for Pick 5; Takeout Remains at 12% New for 2024, when there is a carryover in either 50-cent Pick 5 – whether Early or Late – that money will be carried into the following day’s Late Pick 5. The Early Pick 5 will cover the first five flat races on the card and the Late Pick 5 will cover the final five races each day. Takeout remains at a bettor-friendly 12%.

The Old Dominion 6 returns for 2024, a classic $1 Pick 6 wager with a 15% takeout covering the final six races daily. If nobody correctly selects all six winners, 25% of the net pool will be paid out to those selecting the most winners while 75% will be carried over to the following program.

The remainder of the wagering menu consists of the standard $2 Win, Place and Show; $1 Exacta, 50-cent Trifecta, and 10-cent Superfecta. There will be Rolling $1 Daily Doubles and $1 Pick 3’s on all flat races, plus two Pick 4 bets – one on the first four flat races and the other on the final four events.

Also new this year is the opportunity for horseplayers to link up their multi-race opinions in the National Steeplechase Association (NSA) races, which will be held on selected Thursdays. There will be a $1 Pick 3 starting with Race 1 to cover the (NSA) races and $1 Daily Doubles coupling Races 1-2 and Races 2-3. Each steeplechase race will offer the standard $2 Win, Place and Show; $1 Exacta, 50-cent Trifecta, and 10-cent Superfecta wagering.


Live racing gets underway Thursday, July 11 with an 11:45 a.m. post time. The first three races will be NSA steeplechase events which include wagering. The flat racing portion of the card will start at approximately 1:30 p.m. It will be the first Thirsty Thursday of the season with $3 draft beer refills every Thursday all season long with the purchase of a souvenir cup.

Friday, July 12 will be Party at the Downs featuring happy hour beer and wine specials from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and live entertainment in the Trackside Tent. Post time every Friday is 4:30 p.m.

In addition to the inaugural editions of the $125,000 Million Preview, $125,000 Beverly D. Preview, and the $125,000 Boston, Saturday, July 13 features a giveaway of an 18-month calendar loaded with photos of the stars of the 2023 season at Colonial Downs.

Colonial’s races will be prominently featured on FanDuel TV all season long. Additionally, FanDuel TV will be on-site for coverage of the Festival of Racing on August 10.

Racing fans are encouraged to wager on racing from Colonial Downs via, the official advance-deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated and its family of racetracks. boasts an improved wagering experience and mobile app combining the latest technology with the ability to wager on virtually every quarter,
harness and thoroughbred horse race from venues around the globe. also offers access to unmatched insight and analysis from our horse racing experts, handicappers, insiders, educators and Bloodstock Research Information Services (Brisnet).

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