Colonial Downs, Shenandoah Downs Summer/Fall Live Racing Seasons

Date: July 1, 2020 - October 18, 2020

The second season of Colonial Downs’ resurgence will take place in the summer of 2020. Specific dates and times will be announced by the end of 2019.

2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Four Wheel Drive was most impressive in his career debut at Colonial Downs. Photo by Coady Photography.

At the renovated New Kent facility, horses compete over the Secretariat Turf Course — which at 180 feet across is the widest grass surface in North America — and the 1 1/4 miles long dirt oval which is the nation’s second largest (Belmont’s is 1 1/2 miles around). An average of $500,000 in purse monies will be given away daily which means the quality of competition is sure to please.

2019 Virginia Derby winner English Bee (#8, inside) won a thriller at Colonial Downs. Photo by Coady Photography.

Highlight of the meet will the 18th running of the Virginia Derby. The Grade 3 stakes attracts some of the country’s top three-year-old horses. A trio of additional stakes normally complement the Derby including the Virginia Oaks.

Harness racing takes place in September and October in the scenic Shenandoah Valley. Photo by Andy Huffmyer.

The fifth annual fall harness racing season will take place in Woodstock, Virginia at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds. The five meet begins shortly after Labor Day with race programs held on Fridays at 3:30 PM and Saturdays at 2 PM. Woodstock is located halfway between Harrisonburg and Winchester off I-81 at Exit 283.

Harness racing has taken place in Woodstock for 102 years. Wagering is available during the fall Shenandoah Downs meet.

Pacers and trotters compete over a one half mile oval in at least ten races every day. Parking and admission are free and the races are family friendly. Friday Happy Hour racing features $1 draft beer and $1 hot dogs. Saturdays feature special events like “Pink Power”  Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Wiener Dog races, Autumnfest and more! Details are at