Colonial Downs Summer Stakes Recognizes Historic Virginia-Bred Hall of Famer 

The 9-week summer thoroughbred racing season at Colonial Downs will be conducted from July 11 through September 7 with racing every Thursday through Saturday. Post time is 11:45 AM on Thursday, 4:30 PM on Friday and 1:30 PM on Saturday. The popular “Festival of Racing” program will return August 10 and feature the Grade 1 Arlington Million, Grade 2 Beverly D ($500,000 purse) and Grade 2 Secretariat Stakes ($500,000). The Million will be run at 1-1/4 miles, the Beverly D. will be contested at 1-3/16 miles and the Secretariat will cover one mile. All three races will be held on Colonial’s acclaimed Secretariat Turf Course. 

The Beverly D. has again been selected as a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf to be held November 2 at Del Mar. Festival Day is being expanded for 2024 to include four 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 for fillies 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. 

Opening weekend action will be highlighted by a new event — the Million Preview Day card — July 13 that includes three new turf stakes: the $125,000 Arlington 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, a prep for the Secretariat. 

The inaugural Boston Stakes will be contested Saturday July 13 at Colonial Downs.

The Boston Stakes will resonate with fans locally in Central Virginia, which is home to Colonial Downs. Boston, who was bred by Richmond attorney John Wickam and foaled in nearby Henrico County, was America’s most accomplished racehorse in an era when thoroughbred racing was the nation’s most popular sport. Boston won 40 of 45 known races between 1836 and 1943 on tracks from Georgia to New. York, once in front of a crowd of 70,000. Later a renowned sire, he was an inaugural inductee into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1955. He lived from 1833-1850 

Boston is a grandson of Sir Archy and was a regal chestnut-colored horse with a white blaze on his nose. During his racing career, he was undefeated as a 4 and 5-year-old starting in 15 races. Thirty of Boston’s victories were in four-mile heats and nine were in three-milers. In the era of grueling marathon contests, Boston was in a class of his own.

Thirteen of his starts took place in Virginia including eight in Petersburg –- all of which he won. Post-racing, Boston was the leading sire in 1851, 1852 and 1853 and eventually sired 95 winners of 293 races. Among his noted progeny were Lexington and Lecomte.

To celebrate his importance to Virginia racing, the County of Henrico will dedicate a new historical marker at Boston’s foaling location this summer, soon after the inaugural Boston Stakes at Colonial.