Shenandoah Down 2023 — By The Numbers

Shenandoah Downs completed its 2023 pari-mutuel harness racing season in Woodstock, Virginia on October 29. Believe it or not, this was the eighth consecutive season that pacers and trotters competed over the half mile oval since the Virginia Equine Alliance invested close to $1 million in track renovations there in 2016, to turn what was a Fair track—  that could start four horses behind the starter’s car — into a state-of-the-art oval that can accommodate full fields of quality standardbreds.

Another 14-week calendar is planned for 2024 split into a pair of seven-week meets. The spring session will run from April 6 – May 19 and a fall meet will extend from September 14 – October 27 (pending Virginia Racing Commission approval). Parking and admission are always free and the races are family friendly. Details are at and via all social media channels.

2023, By The Numbers 

3 – The number of trainers that tied for most wins during the fall racing season. Archie Buford, Gerry Longo and former NFL player Oscar Johnson had 12 wins apiece. 

14 – The total number of weeks Shenandoah Downs conducted harness racing in 2023.  Virginia’s harness scene is in a growth mode — 5 weeks of racing were conducted in 2021 and 8 weeks in 2022. Another 14 weeks worth of racing action is scheduled in 2024.

19 – The number of stallions that will stand in Virginia in the 2024 breeding season — a record number!

19 – The age of young up & coming Shenandoah drivers William Carter, Lucas Myers and Wyatt Long — each of whom reached the winners circle this year!  

19 – The number of wins Michael Whitaker’s Open Handicap trotter Vulcan Hanover has recorded in Woodstock over the last three years.

25 – The number of wins fan favorite and track record holder John’s Dream has won at Shenandoah Downs over the last 8 years. The 10-year-old Dream Away gelding recorded number 25 during the October 22nd race card.  

48 – The number of racing fans that got a chance to “Own a Horse for a Day” this year and keep the purse money that their horse won. In all, $31,500 in prize money was awarded to the lucky winners. The popular promotion, sponsored by the Viginia Harness Horse Association, will return in 2024.    

$101.40 – The amount of money 49-1 longshot Magic Chip returned for a $2 win wager on October 14th. The son of Heston Bue Chip scored his first lifetime win in the upset score with Branden Smith in the sulky.   

137 – The number of years that harness racing has taken place in Woodstock, Virginia. Talk about a tradition! 

1,335 – the number of horses that filled 183 races which were held during the fall harness meet  

2,293 – The number of $1 hot dogs that were sold on Sunday afternoons during the fall harness season in Woodstock. The $1 hot dog special will return in 2024!    

5,010 – The amount of victories harness driver Victor Kirby has won in his career. Number 5000 came on closing day of the Shenandoah Downs fall meet aboard K J Todd in the Virginia Breeder’s $85,600 ​Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot Championship. 

53,619 – The number of career races harness driver David Ingraham has competed in. The 62-year-old made career start number 53,000 (not a typo by the way!) at Shenandoah Downs on April 5th aboard Arthur Lisi’s Rocky Bomber.  

$802,200 – Total purse monies distributed on the fall meet’s closing day card which featured 8 Virginia Breeder’s Championships. That figure is an all-time single day high! 

$3,155,490 – The total amount of purse monies distributed throughout Shenandoah’s 2023 season.