Shenandoah Downs Closing Weekend Highlighted by the $802,200 Virginia Breeder’s Championships

Richest card in Virginia Harness Racing History set for Sunday October 29 at 1 PM

(WOODSTOCK, VA —10/25/2023) —- Shenandoah Downs will usher out its 7-week fall harness racing season on Saturday & Sunday October 28 & 29 with a pair of 14-race programs, headlined by Sunday’s $802,200 Virginia Breeder’s Championships — richest card in Virginia harness racing history. 

Pam Wagner’s Petes For Real won both his preps in the 2-year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace and should be favored in the $85,025 final (Quenton Egan photo)

Eight divisional championships will be contested between 2 and 3-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes with purses ranging from $84,000 to $92,400. Freshman finals will kick the card off in races 1-4 and sophomore clashes will close it out in races 11-14. In between are four Virginia Breeder’s aged races with $20,000 purses, and the traditional Sunday features — a $10,000 Open Handicap Pace and Trot. A series of $8,000 prep and elimination races in the 2 and 3-year-old classes have taken place over the last four weeks.

Caviart Farms’ Caviart Gwen dominated in her only Breeder’s prep race by 10 lengths. She will battle Sunday in the $84,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot (Quenton Egan photo)

Sunday food and beverage specials include $1 hot dogs and $2 canned beer.

Saturday’s card pays tribute to Halloween with a “Trunk or Treat” celebration for kids who come dressed in costume. They can collect candy in a safe and fun environment between 1:30 – 2:30 PM and can enter a costume contest at 2 PM. Two inflatable obstacle courses and a petting zoo will be available for the young set to enjoy all afternoon. Equine author Amber Sawyer will also be on site reading excerpts from her children’s book “Love to Race” and will lead children in horseshoe decorating.

The Trunk or Treat promotion is expected to draw many families to the Woodstock oval.

Four divisions of the meet long U.S. Harness Drivers Club competition will be contested Saturday and close out the series. A trophy will be presented to the leading point earning reinsman after the final race. All participating drivers have donated their share of driver earnings from the series to various non-profits — who will receive checks in a series of presentations throughout the afternoon. Those include the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, the American Cancer Society’s Shenandoah Valley Chapter, Shenandoah area Future Farmers of America organizations, and local 4H chapters. The Virginia Equine Alliance will also present checks to the Saddle Creek Standardbred Retirement Farm in nearby Palmyra on Saturday and to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation on Sunday.

More details on all events are at