First time by in the first race of 2019 at Colonial Downs. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Dates for the 2021 thoroughbred racing season at Colonial Downs were approved yesterday by the Virginia Racing Commission at its quarterly meeting, which was held virtually. 

The seven-week campaign will run from July 19 – September 1 with racing scheduled every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Now in its third season under ownership of the Colonial Downs Group, the meet will include a total of 21 race dates. The stable area and track will open for training on July 5 and will close on September 8.

“Purses are projected to average at least $500,000 per day absent any unforseen events like an increase of the pandemic beyond its current intensity,” said Frank Petramalo, Virginia HBPA Executive Director. “I think most horsemen by nature have to be optimists otherwise they wouldn’t last very long in the racing business. Let’s hope a successful 2021 meet will erase the memory of last summer’s Covid-related cancellation after just 6 race days.”  

Colonial will again offer a diverse stakes program in 2021 highlighted by the Grade 3 Virginia Derby and a lucrative Virginia-bred stakes schedule. ​Details will be announced early in the new year. 

“Colonial Downs, in conjunction with the VHBPA and all the stakeholders in the Virginia thoroughbred industry, look forward to welcoming horsemen back to our beautiful facility in 2021 for 21 days of racing over its two fantastic surfaces, including our world-famous Secretariat turf course,” said Jill Byrne, VP of Racing Operations. “As a member of the Mid-Atlantic Racing jurisdiction, which has been a leader in adopting some of the strongest safety, health, medication and welfare regulations in the country, Colonial Downs is committed to always putting our equine and human athletes first. We are proud to continue to support the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the integrity of the entire thoroughbred industry.”