Colonial Downs unveils 2024 stakes schedule

Topped by a quartet of graded races, Colonial Downs unveiled its 2024 stakes program consisting of 27 races worth $5.7 million for the 27-day season which runs from Thursday, July 11 through Saturday, September 7.

The Colonial Downs Festival of Racing, slated for Saturday, August 10 is highlighted by the Grade 1 Arlington Million, the Grade 2 $500,000 Beverly D. and the Grade 2 $500,000 Secretariat Stakes, the traditional weekend for the renowned trio. The Million will be run at 1¼ miles, the Beverly D. will be contested at 1-3/16 miles and the Secretariat covers one mile. All three races are slated to be run over Colonial’s acclaimed Secretariat Turf Course.

Once again, the Beverly D. has been selected as a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf to be held at Del Mar in California on Saturday, November 2.

Festival Day is being expanded for 2024 to include 4 additional stakes races: the $100,000 Petramalo Mile, a one-mile dirt race for 3-year-olds and its sister race, the $100,000 Penny Chenery at seven furlongs; the $150,000 Van Clief for 3-year-olds & up at 5½ furlongs on the turf and its distaff companion event, the $150,000 Andy Guest.

The Grade 3 $500,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby, Colonial’s longtime signature event, will be raced on closing day, Saturday, September 7. The 1-1/8 miles grass race headlines a card with $1.3 million in stakes purses including five other turf stakes: the $250,000 Virginia Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1-1/16 miles; the $150,000 Da Hoss Stakes for older horses at 5½ furlongs; the $150,000 Colonial Cup a 1½-mile marathon for 3-year-olds & up; the $125,000 Rosie’s Stakes for 2-year-olds sprinting 5 ½ furlongs; and the $125,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes for 2-year-olds over a two-turn 1-1/16 miles on turf.

Last year’s major stakes races at Colonial netted several notable winners: Da Hoss victor Nobals went on to capture the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita; Fev Rover, who took the Beverly D., added the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine to her already impressive resume; and Virginia Derby hero Integration later scored in the Grade 2 Hill Prince at Aqueduct. More recently, 2023 Virginia Derby runner-up Program Trading captured the Grade 1 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

Opening weekend action includes three new turf stakes: the $125,000 Million Prep at 1-1/8 miles; $125,000 Beverly D. Prep over 1-1/16 miles; and the $125,000 Boston at one mile, which will serve as a prep for the Secretariat. 

To see the full stakes schedule of all Mid-Atlantic tracks, click here and choose the “Midlantic stakes schedule” tab

The following Saturday, July 20, a quartet of turf races for Virginia-bred or -sired older runners are on the docket: the $125,000 Brookmeade for filles and mares at 1-1/16 miles, the $125,000 Edward P. Evans at one mile, and the $125,000 Punch Line and $125,000 Tyson Gilpin/Glenn Petty both at 5½ furlongs with the latter of the pair restricted to fillies and mares.

A pair of 2-year-old races for Virginia-restricted runners – the $150,000 Hickory Tree and its sister race the $150,000 Keswick – headline the Saturday, August 3 program. Both races have been lengthened to 5½ furlongs on the dirt.

Commonwealth Champions Day is scheduled for Saturday, August 31 and is highlighted by a quintet of turf races saluting Virgina runners: the $125,000 Jamestown is for Virginia-bred or -sired 2-year-olds going 5½ furlongs while the remaining four events are for Virginia-restricted horses – the $150,000 Meadow Stable for older horses at 5½ furlongs and its female companion race the $150,000 Camptown; and the $150,000 Bert Allen and its filly and mare counterpart, the $150,000 Nellie Fox, both at 1-1/16 miles.

Additionally, there will be two $100,000 stakes races for fillies and mares presented by the National Steeplechase Association, the Randolph D. Rouse on Thursday, August 8 and the Life’s Illusion on Thursday, September 5.

Condition books and stall applications are available online at under the horsemen’s tab. Stall applications are due Tuesday, May 21.