Spearheaded by competitive fields on both of its racing surfaces and continued high interest in its Pick 5 wager, Colonial Downs has announced that the average all-sources wagering through the first five weeks of the 27-day Colonial Downs presented by Woodford Reserve race meeting is up 30.7 percent over the same corresponding time period of the 2021 meet.
Now in its fourth year under the management of the Colonial Downs Group and ownership of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, Colonial Downs has registered a daily all-sources average handle of $2,625,248 through the first 15 days of the meeting, compared to the daily all-sources wagering handle of $2,008,092 through the first 15 days of the 2021 meeting.
Colonial Downs is offering a record of more than $600,000 in daily average purses for the season, attracting horsemen and horsewomen from various parts of the nation to the New Kent facility for the daily Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon racing programs.
Additionally, horseplayers wagering on the Colonial Downs races have taken a liking to the Pick 5 wager, which last week produced an $82,000 carryover into the Aug. 9 race card leading to $761,000 in new money wagered the following day. The Pick 5 at Colonial Downs, a 50-cent minimum wager, has a take-out rate of 12%, which is one of the lowest take outs offered by any racing facility in the U.S. The wager was altered this year to offer a carryover pool when no one selects all five winners in the sequence which covers the last five races daily.
A total of $1,113,614 was bet into the sixth race on Aug. 9 at Colonial Downs, which is the highest non-Virginia Derby single race pool in the history of the track and contributed to a meet-high daily handle of $4,158,874.
“We are delighted with the response thus far from fans from around the country who are enthusiastically wagering on our high-quality racing product, featuring horses from some of racing’s most familiar trainers and competition among top jockeys,” said Jill Byrne, Colonial Downs Vice President of Racing Operations. “Our Pick 5 has been wildly successful since we reduced takeout to 12% on the bet this year. We look forward to continued success for the second half of the meet resuming on August 15.”
Colonial has also been participating in the Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick 4 in conjunction with Monmouth Park. The 50-cent wager includes two races each from Colonial and Monmouth Park.
Colonial continues to be one of the nation’s most horsemen-friendly racetracks, proven by its innovative meet-long horsemen incentives branded as “Every Race, Every Day.” As a bonus, all owners are guaranteed $1,000 per start or their share of the purse money, and all trainers will receive $300 per start as recognition for loyal participation every race, every day. In recognition of horse welfare, Colonial Downs will contribute $15 from each starter in every race to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which is matched by another $15 per horse contribution by the Virginia HBPA.
At the halfway point, jockey Jareth Loveberry and trainer Larry Rivelli – each competing at Colonial for the first time – lead their respective standings. Sarah and Reid Nagle’s Big Lick Farm is leading owner through the first five weeks of racing.
The second half of the meet gets off to a tremendous start with four MATCH Series stakes races headlining a solid Tuesday, Aug. 16, card while the $300,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby (G3) for 3-year-olds and the $200,000 Virginia Oaks for 3-year-fillies are both scheduled for Sept. 6.