Virginia Derby
First time by in the 2021 Virginia Derby. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Fresh on the heels of a record setting thoroughbred racing season in 2021, racing dates for an expanded 2022 Colonial Downs Race Meet presented by Woodford Reserve were approved today at the Virginia Racing Commission meeting which was held at the New Kent track. 

The number of race days will increase from 21 to 27, and daily average purse monies will rise from $522,000 in 2021 to an expected $600,000 in 2022. 

The upcoming 9-week campaign will run from July 11 – September 7.

The race day schedule will mirror the ’21 slate, with racing every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:30 PM (EDT).     

The highly successful 2021 meet featured 21 race days and an average daily betting handle of $2,240,000. A total of $10.4 million in purse monies were distributed and average field size was a healthy 8.36 starters per race.  

Details on the 2022 stakes schedule, including the Grade 3 Virginia Derby, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Colonial Downs is home to the Secretariat Turf Course, widest grass racing surface in the country, and a 1 1/4 miles dirt oval, second longest only to Belmont’s 1 1/2 miles track.