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.