By Paul Woody – Richmond Times Dispatch

Colonial Downs Racecourse is known for its lush, verdant turf track. And while rain is good for the health of the grass, it is neither healthy for the surface nor safe for the horses to run on wet turf.

So, to make sure that thick turf lasts for the upcoming eight weeks of racing, the five races scheduled for grass last night at Colonial Downs were moved to the dirt track that surrounds the turf.

Make that the mud track that surrounds the turf.

Slop was the operative word.

“A soup sandwich,” said Tyler Picklesimer, Colonial Downs’ director of racing.

After every race, the valets provide the jockeys a bucket of water, a sponge and a towel.

Last night, those supplies were as valuable as a hot tip in the fifth race.

The rain that swept through the area made for a wet season-opening race card at Colonial Downs. Riders and horses finished races in a layer of mud.

“Free facial,” said jockey Rosemary Homeister, laughing.

This was not the way the Colonial Downs wanted to open its 13th season…

To read the entire story, click here.

For charts of Friday’s races, click here.