Colonial Downs

Colonial Downs

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Colonial Downs to Hold 25-Day Meet in 2013

Shortened Thoroughbred season to run from June 8 to July 13 at Virginia track.

Colonial Downs will host a 25-day spring/summer Thoroughbred meet in 2013 from June 8 through July 13 after approval from the Virginia Racing Commission Nov. 7.

The New Kent track will also host a 24-day harness meet that will run from Sept. 18 through Oct. 27.

The Thoroughbred stand represents a seven-day decrease from 2012 but that is part of an overall strategy to improve the caliber of overnight races and increase the field size. The average overnight purse is expected to increase 43%, from $15,000 in 2012 to just under $22,000 in 2013.

Colonial Downs will also re-implement an equine shuttle on race days, which will transport horses from Maryland to New Kent. The shuttle can accommodate between 12 and 14 horses, which should aid in the field size initiative.

The track’s two major stakes, the Colonial Turf Cup and Virginia Derby (gr. IIT), will also have their purses reduced to help boost the level for overnight races. The Turf Cup, open to horses 3 and up, will drop to $300,000 from $500,000. The 16th running of the Virginia Derby in July will have a $500,000 purse, down from $600,000, the level it was at this past summer.

The season will kick off on Belmont Stakes Day and run on a regular Wednesday through Sunday basis. Post time will be 6 p.m. except on Sundays, when a matinee card will begin at 12:55 p.m. Racing on Fridays will commence June 21 during the second full week of action. The track’s annual racing and fireworks extravaganza will be held July 4.

Days and times of the fall harness meet will remain unchanged for 2013. Racing will take place on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.