In a carbon copy of last month's Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT), Battle of Hastings dug in late to head Straight Story to win the $750,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) on the Colonial Downs turf July 18.
Colonial Downs will kick off its 13th annual Thoroughbred racing season June 12 and will continue an eight week, 40-day meet through Aug. 4.
Colonial Downs has an agreement in place with CBS to nationally televise the 10th running of the $1-million Virginia Derby (gr. IIT). The one-hour broadcast begins at 5 p.m. (EST) July 21st with post time for the Virginia Derby set for 5:44 p.m.
Eight graded stakes winners are among the 78 early nominations for $750,000 Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs on June 16.
Old races may provide new funds to maintain Virginia roads should lawmakers pass a bill that has been re-introduced in the General Assembly. A similar bill that had been submitted during the General Assembly's special transportation session last September was passed over.
Colonial Downs will continue with its plan to gradually add more Thoroughbred racing dates, having asked the Virginia Racing Commission for 42 days in 2006, two more than this year and eight more than 2004.
By winning the first two legs of the inaugural Grand Slam of Grass, English Channel has instantaneously brought to life a demanding turf series that many thought far-fetched when it was first announced. The bonus series guarantees a $5 million payout to the exceptional horse that can sweep the four races.
Well over $40 million was wagered in the 40 days of live racing at Colonial Downs during the 2005 summer meet that concluded on Aug. 9.
The owner of Colonial Downs hopes the new "Grand Slam of Grass" is eventually worth $10 million and said two turf stakes at the Virginia racetrack that are part of the series would each be worth $1 million in 2006.
Colonial Downs' plan to offer the "Grand Slam of Grass," a major turf series for 3-year-olds that carries the potential for $5 million in total purse awards, was well received by the Virginia Racing Commission March 16. The track has hired a marketing agency to push the series.
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