Colonial Downs will usher out its 2009 harness racing season this Saturday November 7th when it hosts the 12th annual $334,500 Virginia-bred "Day of Champions." A total of eight championship races featuring Commonwealth-bred two- and three-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes will highlight a 14-race afternoon card. Two of the title races will be non-betting, and will take place at 12:25 and 12:40 PM respectively.
The first of 12 pari-mutuel harness races will start at 1 PM, and they will be held in conjunction with the eight Breeders' Cup championship thoroughbred races simulcast live from Santa Anita.
The most competitive of the Virginia eight is the $43,800 three-year-old colt and gelding pace. A total of nine are in to go including Rick's Crossroads, who beat Nicota by a neck in last Saturday's prep in 1:55 2/5. Richie's Place finished a length back in third.
The $47,800 2 year old colt and gelding pace features a Fran Raia trained three-horse entry. Whatamach, Rick's Jackpot and Rick's Luck all finished either first, second or third in their elimination races last week. Whatamach, who was victorious in 1:55 2/5, took the first elimination race while Bartous's Charlie By Far captured the second one in 1:56 3/5.
Another three-horse entry from Charlottesville's Edenridge Farms highlights the $41,700 three-year-old filly and mare trot. Sadie Eden, the fastest of the trio, won last week's prep by eight lengths in 1:59.0.
Charlie Dunavant's Blue Motorcycle is favored early in the $40,400 three-year-old colt and gelding trot. Colonial's leading driver Chris Page directed the Hobokenbahamamamas gelding to his first career win last Saturday in 2:00.0 despite breaking stride just before the wire. Betting choice The Doctor finished second.
Doors on Saturday will open at 12 Noon. Live racing will run from 12:25 - 5:00 PM, and the Breeders' Cup simulcast races will run from 1:45 PM - 7:00 PM. The Jockey Club and Turf Club Dining Rooms will both be open.
There will be a unique parade of carriages on the track between the second and third pari-mutuel race. Thirteen horse-drawn units will follow each other the length of the stretch in a ten minute demonstration.
Fans are also asked to bring canned food donations to benefit the Central Virginia Food Bank. Anyone who brings a donation will become eligible to win one of three rides in the starter car that afternoon.