Colonial Downs

Colonial Downs

Coady Photography

Colonial Downs Begins Meet With Full Fields

The Virginia racetrack as usual will focus on grass racing throughout the meet.

Colonial Downs kicks off its 2013 meet June 8 with full fields for turf racing and three steeplechase events highlighted by the grade III David L. "Zeke" Ferguson Memorial Stakes.

The Virginia racetrack attracted 108 entries for its nine-race card opening day and 102 entries for an eight-race program June 9. During the 27-day meet racing will be held Wednesdays through Saturdays at 6 p.m. EDT and Sundays at 12:55 p.m.

The shorter schedule has allowed Colonial Downs to increase purses. Maiden special weight events, for instance, will go for $30,000 plus $22,600 in bonuses for Virginia-bred runners.

Stakes have been clustered on three programs during the meet. The June 22 program features the Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 3/16 miles; the July 6 card has five Virginia-bred stakes; and on July 13 the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) at 1 1/4 miles and Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/8 miles are scheduled.