2021 Colonial Downs Racetrack Schedule: Live Horse Racing Returns July 19

Written By Dann Stupp on March 11, 2021 - Last Updated on August 4, 2022
Mark your calendars: Live horse racing is returning to Virginia beginning in July with 19 race dates at Colonial Downs Racetrack.

Mark your calendars: Live horse racing is returning to Virginia in July at Colonial Downs Racetrack.

Officials on Thursday announced a three-month 2021 schedule of racing. The live racing, which ended prematurely in 2020 due to the pandemic, includes three weekly race days this season.

And the best part? General admission and parking are both free.

Colonial Downs Racetrack takes place in New Kent County in the eastern part of Virginia. The venue is also home to a Rosie’s Gaming Emporium. It’s one of five historical horse racing (HHR) and racebook locations that operate throughout the commonwealth.

Weekday Racing at Colonial Downs Racetrack

Live racing at Colonial Downs Racetrack takes place in July, August, and September. The thoroughbreds will hit the track every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from July 19 to Sept. 1. Post time for each day is 1:45 p.m.

The race weekends include:

  • July 19-21
  • July 26-28
  • Aug. 2-4
  • Aug. 9-11
  • Aug. 16-18
  • Aug. 23-25
  • Aug. 30-Sept. 1

Tickets, including those for premium seating sections, go on sale beginning this Monday, March 15. More information about tickets and the full racing schedule is available at ColonialDowns.com.

Like many sporting enterprises, Colonial Downs tried to go through with its 2020 season. It even eliminated in-person attendance.

However, officials ultimately shut down the operation in August due to a rash of positive COVID-19 tests at the racetrack.

Colonial Downs Group Vice President of Racing Operations Jill Byrne stated:

“As we enter our third year of racing, Colonial Downs looks forward to once again hosting top horses and horsemen from across the country with daily purses offered amongst the highest during the summer months. The past year of the pandemic has been so challenging for everyone, we can’t wait to see our wonderful fans and supporters safely enjoying the excitement of live horse racing.”

What to Expect at Colonial Downs

Colonial Downs bills itself as “family-friendly” entertainment.

The on-site Jockey Club has casual food options. Upscale dining is available at the Turf Club.

Colonial Downs also has:

  • Private suites for larger parties
  • Outdoor clubhouse boxes
  • Reserved grandstand seating
  • A trackside hospitality tent with concessions open to everyone

Colonial Downs has already begun promoting its “Opening Week.” The three-day series, which takes place July 19-21, offers more than $400,000 in VA bred and restricted stakes races.

The track’s closing weekend takes place Aug. 30-Sept. 1. That season finale includes the Virginia Derby and Virginia Oaks premier races on Tuesday, Aug. 31.

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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, MLB.com and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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