Horse racing season begins at Colonial Downs; limited seating, new race schedule


NEW KENT, Va. (WAVY) — The Colonial Downs Group announced on Thursday that the horse racing season is on for 2020 and it begins July 27.

Spectator seating and attendance will be limited and the track will have numerous safety measures put in place. Additionally, there will be a new Monday through Wednesday evening schedule and general admission to all races is free and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

This year’s live horse races will be conducted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, with the first post time at 5:30 p.m. ET. The Virginia Derby will take place Tuesday, September 1, and the final race of the season is Wednesday, September 2.

Colonial Downs plans to implement the following protocols at the track based on phase 3 of reopening:

  • Up to 1,000 spectators will be admitted to the outdoor areas of the grandstand and the track apron (phase 3 currently allows outdoor venues to cap attendance at 1,000 spectators).
  • A six-foot social distancing policy will be enforced.
  • Guests will be required to wear masks indoors and encouraged outdoors.

The venue said it plans to adjust accordingly in the event that Virginia regulations regarding attendance at outdoor sporting events change.

“Last year we were honored to bring horse racing back to Colonial Downs and the Commonwealth. Now, with the advancement into Phase 3 of Virginia’s reopening plan, and guidance from state and local health authorities, we are excited to announce that horse racing will return for another action-packed season this summer,” said John Marshall, Colonial Downs’ executive vice president of operations.

“We will implement the latest in safety and health measures to ensure the well-being of our guests, and limit attendance in accordance with Virginia regulations governing outdoor events. As we continue to monitor the effects of Covid-19, our top priority will always be protecting the health and safety of our guests, team and racing participants.”

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. on race days. Concessions are available featuring the paddock bar and a food truck rally. The Rosie’s Gaming Emporium at Colonial Downs will continue to be open during the racing season, without access to the racetrack, and will continue to adhere to all state policies regarding visitor capacity.

All races will be televised on the TVG Network, with wagering available through and other platforms.

For more information, visit at

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