Virginia Derby

No confirmed summer race dates at this time

Due to a contract stalemate between Colonial Downs & the thoroughbred horsemen, there are no confirmed summer race dates at this time. Please check back often for updates. There are other events scheduled in 2014 including a six week fall harness racing season, a Pro Rodeo on August 1st & 2nd, a AMA Pro flat track motorcycle race on August 23rd, several 5K runs & more events to be announced.

Virginia Derby 2013About

The $500,000 Virginia Derby (Gr. II) is the richest and most important race on the Virginia racing calendar. In addition to being one of the largest social events in Virginia it also annually attracts the best 3-year-old turf horses, jockeys and trainers in the nation, including two champions and three Breeders' Cup winners in just the last five years!


July 10, 2013 - Virginia Derby Draws a Field of 10. - Click here to read

Thrill on the Hill logoThrill on the Hill 2013

Enjoy the 16th running of the $500,000 Virginia Derby in Colonial Downs' first turn BYOB Party Area – sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings & the Richmond Ski Club

"Thrill on the Hill" ticket
Includes track admission & access to the first turn BYOB area. Bring your own pop up tents, portable chairs, grills, coolers, food & alcoholic beverages! We'll have a giant betting tent set up, port-a-johns and a mini-jumbotron to see racing action.

Buffalo Wild Wings will be on site selling chicken wings & other great food in case you don’t want to bring your own. They’ll also host a Chicken Wing Eating Contest – register at the event.

*New Fan Education program set up called “Night School”, where 3 top handicappers from around the country will be based near the wagering tent providing guidance to new & experience bettors alike!

Tailgate in the Turn
The Tailgate in the Turn takes place adjacent to “Thrill on the Hill” and allows cars to park & tailgate (in what Nascar fans would refer to as the “Turn 2” area).

Tickets are $50 per car & includes Derby Day & “Thrill” admission for all passengers. Click here to purchase tickets.

*No glass containers allowed

Click here for more "Thrill on the Hill" information.

Other Happenings

Handicapping Seminar

The Night School horse racing experts will be at the “Thrill on the Hill” BYOB party in the turn!

This FREE on track handicapping seminar with national experts Jeremy Plonk & Brian Nadeau of Horseplay NOW & Night School discussing the VA Derby card! Their session will run from from 3:30 - 4:30 PM before the first post at 5 PM.

Click here for the complete bio's of Jeremy Plonk & Brian Nadeau

Click here to download a FREE Virginia Derby Day Tip Sheet courtesy of the “Horseplayer Now/Night School” handicapping team!

The Virginia Derby Fancy Hat Contest- Sponsored by Lite 98Lite 98

Judging will be by Miss Virginia, Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins of Lite 98.

There are 7 different hat categories:

  • Best Homemade
  • Most Outrageous
  • The Southern Belle
  • The True Couture
  • The Derby Male
  • Most Eco-Friendly
  • Best Virginia Themed

2012 Virginia Derby Recap

Silver Max Wins 6th Straight Race in Saturday's Virginia Derby

July 21, 2012

(NEW KENT, VA) — Silver Max continued his string of impressive turf outings with a one length victory over Lucky Chappy in Saturday’s $600,000 Virginia Derby (Gr. II) for three year olds at soggy Colonial Downs.

The 3 year old Badge of Silver colt had won five straight turf races in gate to wire fashion, each at a different track and each with a different jockey. Robby Albarado guided Silver Max in the second of those in the Grade III Transylvania Stakes at Churchill and he returned to the irons at Colonial Saturday.

He broke from post six and nearly led all the way except for a brief period at the three-quarter mark when Two Months Rent stuck a head in front. Silver Max shook that off, opened a two length margin at the top of the stretch over stablemate Finnegan’s Wake then held on for the win over fast closing Lucky Chappy.

Silver Max, who had not run at a distance longer than 1 1/6th miles prior to Saturday, covered the 1 ¼ mile stakes in 2:04.05 over a yielding turf course. The winner, co-owned Mark Bacon and Dana Wells, returned $3.80 and completed an All Stakes Pick-5 wager.

With the win, trainer Dale Romans captured his third Virginia Derby tying Bill Mott for the most Derby triumphs. Romans previously scored with Paddy O’ Prado in 2010 and Kitten’s Joy in 2004. Nearing the end of a whirlwind day, Romans started in Saratoga and caught a plane to Delaware Park after the third race with jockeys Ramon Dominguez and Alan Garcia. After a pair of races at Delaware, the trio flew into the New Kent, Virginia airport in time for the 8:38 PM (EDT) Derby. Romans was slated to fly back to Saratoga where he noted, “I have champagne on ice waiting.”

Albarado also connected in the Grade III $150,000 Virginia Oaks atop Volcat, the evening’s other graded stakes race. Fresh off a pair of impressive turf allowance efforts at Churchill, Volcat bobbled at the break Saturday but rebounded quickly into second behind Boastful Dancer. The After Market filly took control at three-quarters and held on for a half length win over Filare I’Oro in 1:52.18.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Virginia Derby Past Winners

Year Winner Time Jockey Trainer Owner
2012 Silver Max 2:04.05 Robby Albarado Dale Romans Mark Bacon and Dana Wells
2011 Air Support 2:00.80 Alex Solis Claude McGaughey Stuart Janney
2010 Paddy O'Prado 2:02.58 Kent J. Desormeaux Dale Romans Donegal Racing
2009 Battle of Hastings 2:03.10 Tyler Baze Jeff Mullins Mike House
2008 Gio Ponti 2:02.22 Garrett K. Gomez Christophe Clement Castleton Lyons
2007 Red Giant 1:59.62 Horacio Karamanos Todd Pletcher Peachtree Stables
2006 Go Between 1:59.74 Garret Gomez Bill Mott Peter Vegso
2005 English Channel 2:02.57 John Velazquez Todd Pletcher James Scatuorchio
2004 Kitten's Joy 2:01.22 Edgar Prado Dale Romans Ken and Sarah Ramsey
2003 Silver Tree 2:01.11 Edgar Prado Bill Mott Peter Vegso
2002 Orchard Park 2:03.10 Edgar Prado Bill Mott Peter Vegso
2001 Potaro 2:02.18 Brent Bartram Jonathan Sheppard Augustin Stable
2000 Lightning Paces 2:02.18 Greg Hutton John Robb Tulip Hill Farm
1999 Phi Beta Doc 1:59.97 Ramon Dominguez Robert W. Leonard Dennis Foster and Robert Leonard
1998 Crowd Pleaser 2:00.28 Jean-Luc Samyn Jonathan Sheppard Augustin Stable

Virginia Derby Records

Stakes Record: Largest Winning Margin: Best Winning Beyer:
1:59.62 – Red Giant 3¼ lengths – English Channel 108 – Kitten's Joy
Most Wins, Jockey: Most Wins, Trainer: Most Wins, Owner:
3 – Edgar Prado 3 – Bill Mott 3 – Peter Vegso
Largest Win Mutuel: Largest Attendance: Largest On-track Handle:
$76.00 – Red Giant 10,150 – 2011 $753,681 - 2007
Largest Total Handle:    
$4,546,755.66 – 2008