Record Crowds, Purses and Wagers Highlight Thoroughbred Racing Revival in Virginia
42,000 Fans, $7.4 M in Purses and $17.5 M in Wagers Set New Standard
NEW KENT, Va. (September 10, 2019) – Colonial Downs Group, a division of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, is pleased to share the extremely positive results of the first thoroughbred racing season in six years at the New Kent County track that began August 8 and ended this past Saturday, September 7. Statistics provide a stark contrast to the 24-day meet results from 2013, which included nine additional race dates. A summary of the 2019 15-day meet results reveals the following impressive numbers:
- Over 36,000 people attended racing events, while an additional 6,000 country music fans attended the Old Dominion band concert at the track on September 1.
- Colonial Downs high-definition broadcast reached more than 900 outlets across North America including 15 million TVG network subscribers.
- Total amount wagered on the races was $17.5 Million (an 18% increase over 2013) with 15% of the wagers placed in Virginia and 85% of the wagers placed outside of the state.
- Participants competed for $7.4 Million in purses (a 55% increase over 2013). Daily average purses were $492,000.
- 87 unique jockeys traveled to Virginia for mounts, with trainers coming from 17 different states including California, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Kentucky, New York and Minnesota.
- 144 thoroughbred races ran with 1229 starters, averaging more than eight horses per race. (New modern safety and integrity protocols contributed to no racing or training fatalities)
- In conjunction with its Rosie’s Historic Horse Racing operations, Colonial Downs has already paid over $3.5 Million in taxes to the Commonwealth of Virginia and over $2 Million in taxes to Virginia localities.
“We have exceeded everyone’s expectations and are delivering on our promise to deliver good jobs, significant tax revenues and terrific entertainment to the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Aaron Gomes, chief operating officer for Colonial Downs Group. “The success of our 2019 meet is the culmination of so many people working hard and coming together to revive horse racing in Virginia. We thank the members of the General Assembly, the administration of Governor Ralph Northam, the horseman and horse lovers, our great team and most importantly our amazing fans and patrons for making this possible.”
“It has been an exhilarating whirlwind of activity but the revival of thoroughbred racing in Virginia is now etched in history,” stated Jill Byrne, vice president of racing operations for Colonial Downs Group. “We are already starting to make plans for our next meet in 2020. We know we have set a very high standard with this first meet and we have every intention of meeting and exceeding that standard in years to come.”
Colonial Downs Group will run more than 15 days in 2020. Discussions are currently underway to formulate the plan and schedule.
About Colonial Downs: Colonial Downs Group 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 has revived competitive horse racing in New Kent County and the Commonwealth with the re-opening of the best turf track in the country and a network of satellite HHR facilities branded as “Rosie’s”. Colonial Downs Group is making a $300 million investment in the Commonwealth of Virginia creating 1,000 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.