16 Harness Racing Days Scheduled In Virginia In 2019

The fourth annual Shenandoah Downs harness racing season will include ten pari-mutuel race dates in 2019 and a pair of non-betting events (pending approval from the Virginia Racing Commission) The Shenandoah County Fair will play host to four non-betting cards as well.

Pacers and trotters will return to the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, Virginia two different times this year — in late August for four race days during the Shenandoah County Fair and again for a five week period from September 13th thru October 13th during the Shenandoah Downs pari-mutuel meet, where betting is available.

The Fair will host its 102nd year of racing from August 28th – August 31st. Admission to the races is included with daily Fair admission. During the Shenandoah Downs meet, racing will take place every Friday at 3:30 PM and Saturday at 2 PM.

The 4th annual harness season at Shenandoah Downs kicks off on September 13th. Photo by Dee Leftwich.

Ten races are held each day and a race goes off every 20 minutes which gives attendees time to study the field and make wagers. Parking and admission are both free and the races are family friendly.

Fridays will feature Happy Hour racing with dollar specials on hot dogs and draft beverages. On three of the Saturday cards, eight lucky fans will have a chance to “Own a Horse for a Day” and keep the money their horse earns in a $4,000 race. The winners will visit their horse, trainer and driver in the barn area before the race and get their picture taken in the winners circle after the race. The track will host Weiner Dog races on September 28th and a “Pink Power” Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 12th.

Harness drivers pass the grandstand at Shenandoah Downs track in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

The $300,000 (est.) Virginia Breeders’ Championships will close out the season Sunday October 13th. The non-betting event features eight championship races showcasing Virginia-bred two and three-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Preliminary Breeders’ taces will take place the Sunday prior, on October 6th.

The Shenandoah County Fairgrounds is located at I-81, Exit 283 halfway between Winchester and Harrisonburg. Season details are available at www.shenandoahdowns.com and www.virginiahorseracing.com.