Top 19 Reasons Why Racing at Colonial Downs Is a “Must-Do” Summer Event


The highly anticipated summer thoroughbred racing season at Colonial Downs presented by Woodford Reserve kicks off July 11 and continues through September 7 with racing scheduled every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:45 PM. This season has expanded to 9 weeks, from 7 last year, and daily purse monies being offered will help ensure a full barn area, deep fields and great races for fans to enjoy and wager. An impressive slate of stakes races populates the calendar throughout, topped by high profile events like Virginia-Bred/Sired Stakes Day, MATCH Series Day, Virginia-Restricted Stakes Day and of course, New Kent County Virginia Derby Day.

Since 2022 marks the 19th running of the Virginia Derby, here is a list of 19 reasons— in no particular order — of why the 2022 Colonial Downs meet is a must-do event for horsemen and fans alike:

*More Days: 27 race days over 9 big weeks, every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 1:45 PM.

*More Money: Purses of over $600,000 per day; $60,000 Maiden races!

*More Races for Virginia Bred, Sired and Certified horses

                -VA Certified horses earn 25% more for wins in open races

                -VA Bred horses earn 50% more for 1st – 4th place in open races

*$1,000 Owner Award Bonus -all owners receive the greater of $1,000 or their share of purse money from the race

*$300 Trainer Award Bonus – All trainers receive $300 per horse started

*Horsemen’s 4th floor Suite at Colonial Downs – open every day (except Virginia Derby Day 9/6)

*Opening Day (July 11th) – free “We’re happy to be back at Colonial Downs Lunch” for all Horsemen and VTA members Noon – 3:00 PM in the General Admission tent

*New Kent County Virginia Derby Day Lunch (Sept. 6) with Legislators on the Colonial Downs 4th floor- $50 for all VTA members and horsemen

*Closing Day (Sept. 7) – Horsemen Appreciation Day – Free Lunch for VTA members and Horsemen (site TBD)

*Return of the $600,000 Mid Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series on August 16

*Debut of a new 1 ½ miles turf stakes – the $150,000 Colonial Cup on July 25

*Colonial Downs Online Handicapping Challenge – August 16 with 2 seats to the National Handicapping Championship (NHC) AND Breeders Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) up for grabs  

*Ever want to be a hot walker? Free 3-day “Intro to Horse Grooming” class July 6-8 from 9 AM – 12 Noon.

*Daily Pick-5 wager with a low 12% takeout and a carryover!

*New Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4 wager featuring two races from Colonial Downs & two from Monmouth

*Colonial Downs presents Labor Day racing for the first time in 21 years — a great family outing opportunity!

*Free Parking & Free General admission EVERY race day!

*19th running of the $300,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby on September 6 with four stakes on the undercard including the Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks.

*Secretariat T-Shirt Giveaway on opening day!