Another slate of Virginia Breeder’s Championship races along with a Food Truck festival with live music highlight the second weekend of harness racing at Shenandoah Downs on Saturday/Sunday, September 23rd and 24th.
On Saturday, several food trucks will surround the main party tent in front of the grandstand where fans can purchase a snack or lunch before and during the races. The Trotters, a three person band that specializes in playing old time jazz standards, will perform under the tent from 12 Noon – 3 PM. Beverages, including a selection of draft beer, are available as well. Four flat screen televisions have been added in the tent this year and display the harness racing action along with college and pro football games.
On Sunday, a four-pack of Virginia Breeder’s championships events in the three year old division will take place. Sophomore pacers and trotters of both sexes will compete in the richest races of the fall meet.
Looking ahead, the fifth annual “Wine & Trotter Festival” is slated for Saturday September 30th. Attendees can purchase an upgraded ticket to include wine sampling from area vineyards during the races. Fans are encouraged to wear their most creative, unique or elegant headwear and enter the first ever WINC Fancy Hat Contest. On Sunday October 1st, the first 200 patrons will receive a free commemorative Shenandoah Downs baseball cap.
Each race day, one lucky winner will receive a ride in the starter’s car via a random drawing. Contest entries are located in that day’s racing program. One lucky fan this fall will win a Shenandoah Downs VIP Experience courtesy of the Northern Virginia Daily. The prize package includes a named race, a ride in the starter’s car and the chance to announce an actual horse race. Fans can enter by e-mailing their name, address, phone number and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “VIP Experience” in the subject line.
Gates open at 11 AM both days and races begin at 1 PM. Win, place, show, exacta and trifecta wagering is available either through manned teller windows or via self bet terminals. Past performance programs are $1 and include a complimentary tip sheet. Parking and admission are free.
Looking back to opening weekend highlights on track, Driver Roger Plante Jr. had a solid first weekend, collecting six wins — three each on both Saturday and Sunday. Five of his six victories produced win payouts of $9.00 or more. Most surprising payoff went to Stacy McLenaghan’s Canadian Chrome who finished second and paid a whopping $80.40 to place after being sent off at odds of 51-1. The freshman gelding was coming off a third place finish on closing Saturday at the Shenandoah County Fair meet.
Reinsman Frank Milby piloted a pair of horses to the winners circle opening day in Virginia Breeder’s title races for two year olds. Hillbillyheartache prevailed in the filly pace for trainer Amanda Jackson while Freddie K captured the colt/gelding trot for trainer Charlie Dunavant. In the other pair, Jimmy Viars’ Lemonaideshine took the colt/gelding pace impressively in 1:56 3/5 and Elwood Tignor’s Lorriella was tops in the filly trot.
Shenandoah Downs is located in Woodstock, Virginia at I-81, exit 283 halfway between Harrisonburg and Winchester. For details, visit shenandoahdowns.com.