Shenandoah Downs to Host Derby Party on May 4 with Wagering Available on Entire Churchill Card    

Shenandoah Downs will host a “Derby at the Downs” celebration on Saturday May 4 where fans can wager on live afternoon harness racing in conjunction with simulcast races from Churchill Downs including the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby. 

The Shenandoah Valley’s biggest Derby party also features a Fancy Hat Contest with prizes, three exhibition miniature horse races, live music with the Eli Cook Band from Charlottesville plus mint julep cocktails served in souvenir cups will be available for purchase. Three lucky fans will also be selected at random to “Own a Horse for a Day” and get to keep the amount of purse money their horse earns in a $5,250 race.   

Even though Shenandoah Downs is in its ninth year of pari-mutuel harness racing at the Fairgrounds in Woodstock, this is just its second spring season. With purse money and business on the upswing, a seven-week spring meet was added last year. Fall race meets began in 2016 and still continue over a seven-week period. 

Shenandoah Downs did race on Derby Day last year but offered wagering on the “Run for the Roses” itself. This year, fans can wager all Churchill Downs races beginning at 10:30 AM. The afternoon harness racing program begins at 2:05 PM followed by the Derby simulcast at 6:50 PM. Fans will be allowed onto the racetrack itself to watch the Derby up close on the large infield video screen.  

Admission and parking are free. The track is located in Woodstock at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds at I-81, Exit 283 halfway between Winchester and Harrisonburg. More details are at