(Edited press release)
Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va., will kick off its 13th annual Thoroughbred racing season June 12 and will continue an eight week, 40-day meet through Aug. 4.
Racing will take place on a Friday-Tuesday basis, with a three tiered post time schedule. Friday cards will begin at 6 p.m., Saturday/Sunday programs will go to post at 12:55 p.m., and Monday/Tuesday programs will kick off at 5 p.m.
“We bumped Friday cards back an hour from (5 to 6 p.m.) to give our racing fans a chance to get off work and still make it out here in time for the early part of the card,” said Tyler Picklesimer, Colonial’s director of racing.
Highlights of the meet are the fifth running of the Colonial Turf Cup (gr. II), slated for June 20, and the 12th running of the Virginia Derby (gr. II), scheduled for July 18.
This is the first year the Colonial Turf Cup will hold grade II status. It was a grade III stakes race in 2007 and 2008, when Summer Doldrums and Sailor’s Cap won those respective editions. The Turf Cup also kicks off the Jacobs Investments Grand Slam of Grass four race series, where a horse that sweeps the quartet would win purse and bonus monies in excess of $5 million.
The Virginia Derby, second leg of the Grand Slam series, keeps grade II status for a fourth straight year. The Derby got its grade bump in 2006, and Go Between, Red Giant, and Gio Ponti have won those respective Derbies since.
Stall applications are now being accepted for the 2009 summer season and are due May 1. They are available at colonialdowns.com or by calling Rhonda Davis at (804) 966-7223 or 1-888-482-8722. Other racing related issues can be addressed with Tyler Picklesimer at ext. 1005 (same phone number as above) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.