Colonial Downs Playing Host to Arlington Million Day

Stakes Racing Revival: Colonial Downs Hosts Prestigious CDI-owned Races on Turf

The new home of the Arlington Million (G1) is ready for the biggest racing day in state history – the state of Virginia, not Kentucky, and certainly not Illinois.

The lowdown:

Arlington Park outside Chicago was shuttered after the 2021 season by new owner Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI), the Million Day – also featuring the Beverly D (G1) and the Secretariat (G2) — was held at Churchill Downs in Louisville in 2022, and now it’ll be staged Saturday at CDI-owned Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va. (In 2021, CDI renamed the race the Mr. D Stakes (for former owner Richard L. Duchossois) and the purse was lowered to $600,000.

After CDI purchased Colonial Downs in 2022, there were contentious debates whether to accept its request that the races keep their lofty stakes status following shifts in purses and sites. The American Graded Stakes Committee narrowly gave its approval.

“It is an incredible honor to continue the legacy of these exceptional races by hosting them in our Commonwealth,” Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said late last year. “I am deeply committed to growing our equine industry, and as we work to revive the rich traditions of this sport in Virginia, these stakes races will accelerate our progress and ignite excitement for the fans.”

So, on we go. Colonial Downs is known for its turf racing, and all three of these stakes are on the turf, with the Beverly D at 1 3/16 miles a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.

Exciting Field Lineup and Notable Contenders for the Secretariat Race at Arlington Million

The Secretariat, for 3-year-olds going 1 mile, seems like a good fit since 1973 Triple Crown champion Secretariat was bred in Virginia.

A field of 11 was entered for the Arlington Million, including Sankin, the winner of last year’s race at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor is 0-for-6 since and doesn’t have a top 3 finish during the span. He drew the outside 11 post and will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.

He is trained by Brendan Walsh, whose Pretty Mischievous won the Test (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 5 after leader Maple Leaf Mel tragically broke down 10 yards from the finish and was later euthanized due to the severity of a right front foot injury.


Also entered are Strong Tide, Never Explain, Adhamo, Set Piece, Rockemperor, Atone, Master Piece, Catnip, Win for the Money, and Strong Quality.

  • The Arlington Million: was run at Arlington Park from 1981-2021 and has been won by such champions as John Henry (two-time winner), Steinlen, and Gio Ponti.
  • The Beverly D has a field of seven: Fev Rover, Jan’s Girl, Gina Romantica, Didia, Mise En Scene, Rocky Sky, and Romagna Mia.
  • The Secretariat has a field of eight: Silver Knott, Gigante, Nagirroc, Mo Stash, Major Dude, More Than Looks, Tee At One, and Northern Invader.

The field for the Arlington Million, from the rail out, with jockey, trainer, and odds:

1 Strong Tide (H Karamanos, M E Lauer), 15-1
2 Never Explain (V Cheminaud, Shug McGaughey), 6-1
3 Set Piece (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox), 6-1
4 Atone (Kendrick Carmouche, Mike Maker), 7-2
5 Rockemperor (John Velazquez, Chad Brown), 5-1
6 Master Piece (Jose Lezcano, Rick Dutrow, Jr.), 12-1
7 Strong Quality (Javier Castellano, Mark Casse), 12-1
8 Catnip (Brian Hernandez, Michael Stidham), 8-1
9 Adhamo (Flavien Pratt, Chad Brown), 10-1
10 Win for the Money (J Ruiz, Mark Casse), 20-1
11 Santin (Tyler Gafflaione, Brendan Walsh), 8-1






Posted on