COLONIAL DOWNS COMPLETES RECORD-SETTING YEAR
Posted on September 8th, 2021
Highlighted by more than $10 million in purse distribution, a new all-time daily average of wagering, and wide participation from some of America’s leading racing stables, jockeys, and trainers; the 2021 Colonial Downs race meet presented by Woodford Reserve concluded earlier this month in record-setting fashion.
The third season under the banner of the Colonial Downs Group, welcomed fans back to the track for a 21-day Virginia-festive racing program, featuring daily free admission and family entertainment. This year, the New Kent track expanded its meet to seven weeks and, in a scheduling departure from earlier years, conducted racing Monday through Wednesday afternoons. Highlights of the season include the following:
- In all, total handle for the 21-days was $46,867,078, which generated a record daily handle of $2,231,765. $10.4 million in purses were paid averaging $522,000 per day; highest monies earned by horse, trainer, jockey and owner in Virginia history
- Showcased 10 races featuring Virginia bred horses with $1 million in purses helping to boost Virginia’s breeding program
- A total of 725 horses were stabled on the grounds, showing Colonial Downs increased strength in the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition to those based in Virginia, horsemen participating in the meet came from Kentucky, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
- The Colonial racing program generated a total of 1,713 starters for the 205 races conducted this year. We attracted an average of more than 8 horses per race, higher than the national average in August.
“It is so gratifying to see the continued revival of Virginia racing as we mark new all-time handle heights,” said John Marshall, Colonial Downs Group Executive Vice President, Operations. “We have held true to our promise of building Colonial Downs into one of the country’s elite boutique meets. We thank our horsemen, fans and team for doing their part in making it so.”
The 2021 meeting was also conducted under the strictest safety and security protocols. These practices played a major role resulting in zero racing or equine fatalities and placed Colonial Downs among the country’s best on The Jockey Club’s Equine Industry Database (EID).
It is expected the 2022 season will feature additional race days as Virginia’s racing revival continues.