Storm Forces Colonial Dirt Races to Grass

People at Colonial Downs have joked for years that it is one of a few tracks in the country where racing could be pulled off the dirt to the turf. On one of its biggest racing days in its history Saturday, it actually happened.

Colonial Downs general manager John Mooney said that, with the storm striking quickly while the track was being harrowed and high humidity overnight, the track did not have adequate time to dry out for Saturday's card that has its first two races on the dirt.

Moments before the first race on Saturday, the main track was listed as "off" and the turf was listed as "good." The first race was switched to the inner turf course.

Longshots Prince Rahy and Criminal Mind were scratched in the Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) early Saturday. Larrupin Gal, With Affection, Snowdrops, and Class Yankee are scratched out of the All Along (gr. IIIT).

Doused by an inch of rain in a period of about ten minutes, racing was canceled Friday evening when jockeys complained about the conditions after the running of the third race. The third race was run under backup electrical power after the New Kent area lost power during the running of the second race.

The second race on Friday evening was a rare "walkover" by Liveinthepresent, ridden by Horacio Karamanos, after four horses were scratched out of the five horse field by the track veterinarian. The scratches occurred well before the first race on Friday evening and were not weather related.