Virginia harness racing is poised to take another step forward this fall when Shenandoah Downs ushers in its seventh season of pari-mutuel harness racing beginning September 16 and continuing thru November 6, an increase of three weeks from prior meets that ran at the Woodstock oval from 2016 – 2021. The season dates are pending approval of the Virginia Racing Commission.
The track will host pacers and trotters every Friday at 3:00 PM and Saturday at 1:00 PM thru October 15, then switch to a Saturday and Sunday format the final three weeks with a 1:00 PM. post both days.
The 25th running of the Virginia Breeders Championships will be held closing day, Sunday November 6. A series of $80,000 pacing and trotting finals for 2 and 3-year-olds of both sexes will take place that afternoon in a “Day of Champions”. Prep races for 3-year-olds will be held the weekend of October 21 & 22, and 2-year-old preps will be contested the following weekend, October 28 & 29.
Parking and admission are free to the fall races and the action is family friendly.
The Virginia Harness Horse Association (VHHA) is complementing the additional live racing opportunities with two new breeding initiatives — a Sired Stakes program that rewards both the stallion owner and mare owner and creates eight $60,000 stakes races for program participants in their 2 and 3-year-old seasons, and a Virginia-Certified program that rewards owners of young horses that are raised in Virginia for a minimum of six months before they turn two years of age. Since the announcement of the Sired Stakes program, 16 stallions have committed to stand in Virginia, up from three last year. Details on the lucrative initiatives are at vhha.net.