Plans Being Finalized For Second Annual Fall Harness Season At Shenandoah Downs

Plans are being finalized for the second season of pari-mutuel harness racing at Shenandoah Downs, scheduled to take place this fall from September 16th – October 15th.

Pacers and trotters will compete in ten races every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM. The half mile oval, which was completely renovated a year ago, will also play host to four days of  Shenandoah County Fair harness races (non-betting) from August 30th thru September 2nd. This is the 100th  anniversary season of Fair racing at the grounds in Woodstock, which is located halfway between Winchester and Harrisonburg off I-81 at Exit 283. 

Silver Sierra is shown winning the October 1st feature race at Shenandoah Downs last fall. Photo by Dee Leftwich.

Featured event is the Virginia Breeders prep and elimination races for two and three year olds, which will take place during the Fair session on September 2nd. The $40,000 (estimated) championship for each division will occur during the Shenandoah Downs meet itself. The two year old finals are scheduled for Saturday September 16th while the three year old finals are set for Sunday September 24th. A total of eight divisional titles are up for grabs between the two weekends, and over $300,000 (estimated) in purse monies will be awarded.  

Chuck Perry’s Vertigo Hanover blazes through the far turn at the Shenandoah Downs’ renovated half mile oval. Photo by Andy Huffmyer.

The meet itself will offer free parking and admission for fans every race day. Betting windows are conveniently located in the grandstand. Win, place, show, exacta and trifecta bets are available each race and can be placed with a teller or via a self bet terminal.

Every Saturday will feature a different themed festival. Hops ‘n Hooves, a craft beer tasting event, kicks off the slate on September 16th followed by a Food Truck Festival on September 23rd. The popular Wine & Trotter Festival is on September 30th and features tastings from Shenandoah Valley wineries. Seafest, where various seafood related vendors are on premise, is on October 7th and Autumnfest highlights closing weekend on October 14th. The latter event is a heritage themed festival that includes a barbecue tasting competition with 43 contestants, live music, log splitting competitions and more.

There are separate admission charges to access the Autumnfest, Wine & Trotter, and Hops ‘n Hooves sampling areas at Shenandoah Downs but general admission to the harness races is free each day. Details are at and