Great Meadow Race Course long has been an important venue for steeplechase racing, and on Sunday, Sept. 20 it will be the scene of its first all-flat meet.
Virginia Downs Horse Racing, presented by the Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA), will make its debut with a six-race card of pari-mutuel flat turf races that afternoon at the The Plains course.
Home of the Virginia Gold Cup on the first Saturday in May and the International Gold Cup on the fourth Saturday in October, Great Meadow will have a different look and feel for its all-flat meet, although tailgating and wagering remain key components.
Tailgating areas open at noon, and racing begins at 2 p.m. Attendees will be able to make win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, and daily double wagers on the six races via both manned and self-serve betting terminals.
Fauquier SPCA is the non-profit partner of the Virginia Downs Racing day and will retain all proceeds from ticket sales. Activities will be confined to the Members Hill area alongside the stretch and finish line areas, and two different tailgate-picnic passes will be available for fans to purchase.
A limited supply of reserved railside vehicle passes will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis for $100 each (advance sale only), while general admission car passes are available for advance and raceday purchase for $30. Both options include admission for all passengers. The $100 option provides more of a true tailgate experience along the rail, while the $30 option allows attendees to walk in their picnic supplies, beverages, a blanket, and chairs.
Vehicle tailgating passes can be purchased from Mary Tarr at the Fauquier SPCA (540-788-9000, ext. 202) or by visiting one of the several Virginia Downs Racing ticket outlets which are listed at www.fauquierspca.com.
Virginia Downs Racing is the first in a series of initiatives by the VEA, which is made up of four organizations: the Virginia HBPA, the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, the Virginia Gold Cup., and the Virginia Harness Horsemen’s Association.