Stall applications for the inaugural pari-mutuel harness meet at Virginia’s Shenandoah Downs are due this Monday, August 8th at 12 Noon. The half mile track is located at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, which is directly off I-81 at Exit 283, approximately 40 miles north of Harrisonburg and 31 miles south of Winchester.
Racing will take place five consecutive weekends from September 10th – October 9th. Ten races will be carded every Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM. Opening day’s program will feature the $320,000 Virginia Breeder’s Championships. Top Virginia-bred 2 and 3 year old pacers and trotters of both sexes will compete in eight championship races for combined purse monies of $320,000. Prep and elimination races for that event will take place a week prior, when the Shenandoah County Fair conducts their 99th year of non-betting fair races as a lead in to the pari-mutuel campaign.
An extensive $750,000 track renovation project at Shenandoah Downs is now complete. The oval was widened to accommodate eight horses behind the gate and turns were banked. A permanent concert stage was relocated as was a tractor pull strip.
Any trainers that need more information can contact Racing Secretary Mike Wandishin at 303-509-1861. A link to the stall application is available at http://www.vhha.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/EPSON034.pdf. A condition sheet will be out within a week, and minimum purses will be $3500 for maidens, bottom claimers and bottom level condition races. Virginia preferred horses will be given preference in all races though Wandishin expects most races will open up. Daily purse distribution will be approximately $50,000.
Horses entering the grounds must be accompanied by a health certificate dated within 30 days and verification of a negative Coggins test dated within 12 months (State law requires that the Coggins test report be hardcopy in original or photocopy form). The Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) strongly encourages horses that stable on the grounds to have a herpes vaccination.
More information is available at vhha.net, shenandoahdowns.com and at virginiahorseracing.com.