Colonial Downs

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October 19th, 2002

 Colonial Downs New Kent, VA

Our first trip to Colonial Downs was Harness Racing. Here's what I learned: Each race is short.  A mile to a mile and a quarter.  Each time between races is about the same. Total from beginning of one race to another is about 20 minutes. Harness Racing: is a horse pulling a jockey on a cart-like vehicle with two huge wheels.

Track info:  Parking: Free in General area, $5 for Valet Parking. Admission: $2 each person general admission. $10 per person with groups only (and you have to reserve) for skyboxes. There are two levels where you can sit inside, order food and sit at tables.  The Jockey Club is reserved seating only during Thoroughbred season and during Harness Racing it's first come/first served.  The cost to get into the Jockey Club $10  which is access to 3rd floor dining room/lounges.  You get no special privileges there except a table and a potential waiter to take your order.  The Turf club is access the top floor and that only gets you the same as the jockey club and access to a more expansive cocktail lounge area.  Perks are cleaner restrooms, nicer decorated area and overlooking the track seating as well as a free racing program. Cost for that is $15.00
Cost for racing program: $2.00.  It lists the horses, races and stats.  Food is available downstairs for the general public and it's very limited (Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Sausage, Fries, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Pretzels and Nachos).  Soda and beer as well as the occasional simple alcoholic beverage is available as well.  My opinion was this food is HORRIBLE.  Eat before going if possible.  NOTHING was good.  There are restrooms and a small gift shop (Which is expensive).  Not very much seating inside. Dress: Casual unless specified.

Betting:  Minimum Bet: $2 per horse per race I don't know the maximum. The most we saw anyone bet is $100 but it could be higher than that.

To win - you hope that horse wins first place.

To Place - you hope the horse wins first or second, any order, bet can be the minimum, but the percentage of winnings decreases.

To Show - you hope the horse wins 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in any order.  You can bet the minimum, but you don't win much.  For example, I won on one of these and my $2 bet won me only $3.60!

Daily Double: you pick the winner of two consecutive races and you get a lot more for it if you win. However, only a couple races are eligible for this; not all of them.

Purse: The amount the horse wins (Jockey or owner I am not sure but I think the owner gets it and pays the Jockey a bonus if he wins) The purse for each race was between 3 and 7 thousand dollars for these races.

Winner's Circle:  Where the winner goes to take a photo and record the victory. 


You can bet on more than one horse if you want.  You can probably bet on all of them. 

The forms list various statistics.  Times for the last several races, The jockey, trainer/owner, how much earnings that horse has won each race and overall, the birth date of the jockey (though they do not tell you their weight which I found odd as a couple were chubby).  Also the stats for the last year or two: for example, the horse had 10 starts, won first place once, won second place 3 times and won 0 third place wins.  The colors are listed. The rest of the form is a mystery to me. 


Post - The time left to bet

Exacta - this is picking the first and second place finishers in order

Exacta Box - this is picking the first and second place winner in any order; pays less than exacta

Trifecta - this is picking the first three place finisher in order

Trifecta box - this is picking the first three finishers is in any order. 

Superfecta - this is picking the top 4 winners in a row in one race. I am not sure if there's a "Superfecta boxed".

Photo Finish - where two horses finish to close and must be viewed on film.

Simulcast - This is where they broadcast to areas away from the field like to legalized betting areas like in Vegas or Atlantic City. 

IRS - who you have to pay if you win more than 600.00!

There's a lot of terms, facts and figures I've no clue about.  We've been to Harness Racing a few times, but I only took photos once. See below.


Harness Racing Photos



Top left to right: Grandstands/Jockey Club/Club Seating/Turf Club Overhang, Winners Circle Photo, The track.  Bottom left to right:  A Harnessed Jockey, Scott's horse comes in last, and finally the front of Colonial Downs.


Colonial Downs

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No Pamphlet or ticket


July 4th, 2003

 Colonial Downs New Kent, VA


We went to thoroughbred racing a few times.  I've included photos from 2003 because I wanted to mention that at this particular date, we got to see Davey Jones perform a concert.  I believe he also did so in 2001 (we did not attend) and again in 2004.  He did not do so in 2005 or 2006.  If you'd like to see the Davey Jones Concert photos and the in person autograph I obtained (yeah, I had to chase him!), go HERE


Thoroughbred Racing



Colonial Downs

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No Pamphlet or ticket


June 17th, 2003

 Colonial Downs New Kent, VA


We attended again but included this time because we saw the Rhondells in concert here (well, not too much; we stayed on the race side).  This was a special grand opening weekend I guess; a Hooter's beach party with sand pit, tug of war contest, the music, contest (drawings) and they gave away free sunglasses and beach bags (to the ladies only).  I did get a bag; but not glasses. See the images below.


Left to right: Horses before the race, Signaling the start of the race, and three photos of the Rhondells.



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