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Posted on: August 5, 2019

Virginia Derby newly named for home location

Colonial Downs and New Kent County, home county of the track, announced a new joint partnership today with horse racing's revival in the Commonwealth that includes sponsorship of the Grade 3 Virginia Derby. 

The $250,000 stakes race, which highlights a "Racing Revival Weekend" on August 31st", will be renamed the 'New Kent County Virginia Derby'. Other "Revival" events on Labor Day weekend include the $150,000 Fasig-Tipton Virginia Oaks, swag giveaways, jockey meet & greets, and family fun activities. 

2019 will mark the 17th running of the Virginia Derby and the 1st running of the New Kent County Virginia Derby. Some of the country's top three-year-old turf horses will compete 1 1/8 miles over the Secretariat Turf Course that day for the first time since 2013. Eclipse award winning horses English Channel, Gio Ponti and Kitten's Joy have captured the Commonwealth's richest annual horse race in past years. Star horses like Paddy O' Prado, Silver Max, and Go Between among others have also won.    

"We are excited to partner with Colonial Downs in a high profile event like the Virginia Derby," said Rodney Hathaway, New Kent County Administrator. "We look forward to welcoming local, regional and national visitors to New Kent on Derby Day and throughout the summer race season. We invite everyone to enjoy all the tourist amenities the County offers." 

New Kent County has an English history that dates back 400 years. It is the second fastest growing locality in Virginia and is home to four golf courses, three wineries, three rivers and historic landmarks like St. Peter's Parish Church, known as "The First Church of the First First-Lady". A Rosie's Gaming Emporium, which features 600 Historical Horse Racing terminals and live simulcasting from tracks around the country, is in New Kent as well at Colonial Downs.

"We couldn't be more pleased to partner with New Kent County in our biggest annual marquee event," said John Marshall, Executive Vice-President of the Colonial Downs Group. "On Derby Day, we'll showcase New Kent to horseplayers from all over North America who will be watching and wagering at racetracks, simulcast centers and online. They will learn what we already know --- that New Kent is a great place to live, work and visit."  

Colonial Downs kicks off its five-week thoroughbred race season on Thursday August 8 at 5:00 PM. The action continues through September 7 with racing every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 5:00 PM. Racing details are available at Information about New Kent County is at or            

About Colonial Downs: Colonial Downs’ bright future features the return of live thoroughbred racing and full card simulcasting with the excitement of innovative historic horse racing (HHR) gaming technology. In collaboration with the Virginia Racing Commission (VRC) and Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA), Colonial Downs is set to bring competitive horse racing back to New Kent County and the Commonwealth with the re-opening of the best turf track in the country and a future network of satellite HHR facilities branded as “Rosie’s”. Colonial Downs Group is making a $300 million investment in the Commonwealth of Virginia creating 900 new jobs by the end of 2019. This effort will generate $25 million annually in state tax revenues, $17 million annually in local tax revenues and $25 million annually to Virginia’s horse industry. The project is not receiving any tax credits or government incentives.

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