By Ralph Paulk

Even though a number of factors including high fuel prices and a wagering dispute in Florida caused a slight financial downturn at Colonial Downs last year, track officials are confident of a turnaround as the 2009 season begins tonight.

Their enthusiasm, tempered only by a still-unsettled economy, is fueled by an opening weekend paired with tomorrow’s 141st running of the Belmont Stakes. Also, new 50-cent trifectas, coupled with an already popular 10-cent superfecta, have seemingly piqued bettors’ interest.
Track officials are placing bets for a fast start to this eight-week, 40-date Thoroughbred racing season.

“We believe the first three days are strong,” said Director of Racing Tyler Picklesimer. “If they don’t bet the first three days, I don’t know what to do. I’m excited, and I think we’ll have a good meet.”

To reach the entire story, click here.