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Horse racing comes back to Colonial Downs in late July

General admission to the races is free. Just like the horses, the season passes quickly: there are only 18 days of races where guests can visit the track.
Credit: AP Photo/Scott K. Brown, File
FILE - In this Sept. 1, 1997, file photo, coming down to the finish, Thee and Me (7) wins by a nose and Hot Salsa (5) takes second during the third race at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va.

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. — Colonial Downs is welcoming race fans back to their outdoor venue in late July, for the start of the 2020 horse racing season.

Last year, the New Kent raceway brought back live horse racing after a 5-year closure. In a release Thursday, the organization said this season followed on the heels of an "incredibly successful" 2019 season for the business.

As a reminder - general admission to the races is free.

This year, with the coronavirus pandemic, there will be special restrictions in place meant to slow the spread of the virus. Per Governor Ralph Northam's Phase 3 guidelines, there's an outdoor gathering cap of 1,000 visitors. 

A release from the track reminded would-be visitors that keeping six feet of physical distance between non-household members is required, and masks are needed for indoor access (they're encouraged even while outdoors).

Just like the horses, though, the season passes quickly: there are only 18 days of racing in a two-month window where guests can visit the track.

Starting July 27, there will be races on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Access is first-come-first-serve, and the doors open at 4:30 p.m.

You can catch the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs on September 1. The last day of races will be September 2.

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