Colonial Downs Expanded Stakes Schedule

CLN (Darrell Wood)

CLN Press Release, May 13, 2021 – A total of 25 stakes races worth more than $2.7 million will be offered at the upcoming seven-week Thoroughbred racing season at Colonial Downs — from July 19 through Sept. 1 — featuring a minimum $500,000 in average daily purses, the Grade 3 $250,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby on Aug. 31, enhanced horsemen incentives, and an expanded racing program for Virginia bred, sired, and certified horses. The 2021 meeting will be scheduled every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with daily first post time at 1:45 p.m. ET. All Colonial Downs races will be televised on TVG.

Colonial Downs welcomes back fans to this year’s 21-day meeting with free admission.  This meet marks the third consecutive increase in scheduled race days as Colonial Downs continues to emerge. Purses at the upcoming meet will start at an average minimum of $500,000 per day, with maiden races offered at $50,000.

The Colonial Downs barn area opens on Monday, July 5. The condition and stakes book, stall applications and all horsemen information are available at

According to a newly released study conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics, Virginia’s horse racing and breeding industry generated an estimated economic impact of $542.1 million in the Commonwealth in 2019. Industry jobs, racing related expenditures and tax revenue have all risen since the General Assembly passed legalization of Historical Horse Racing machines in 2018, which enabled Colonial Downs to open and fuel the sport’s revitalization.

At the forefront of safety and integrity, Colonial Downs this year became a member of the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Alliance to reduce equine fatalities and supports the federal legislation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA).

Among the stakes program highlights for this year are:

Informing fans throughout the meeting, Colonial Downs is also extremely proud of this year’s talented broadcast team, led by the ever-popular Jason Beem, who is returning for his third season as the Colonial Downs track announcer. Jessica Paquette will be this year’s paddock host and handicapper, and Merv Huber will continue to provide morning line odds and guest analysis.

“Since we announced our race dates and purse program for the 2021 season, response from horsemen across the country has been extremely positive,” said Jill Byrne, Vice President of Racing Operations. “Our lucrative daily purse structure, attractive horsemen incentives, two fantastic racing surfaces and a varied stakes program, are key ingredients to launching an exciting and successful race meet. 

Frank Petramalo (

“We are also very excited that this year’s meet is open again to fans, who can enjoy the thrill of the live racing experience.”  

“Virginia’s horse owners and trainers are delighted to see an increase to seven weeks of racing with great purses,” said Frank Petramalo, Virginia HBPA Executive Director. “We can’t wait to break out of the gate for a successful summer meet.”

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