Shenandoah opens 2024 spring meet Saturday

Woodstock, VA — Shenandoah Downs raises the curtain on its ninth season of pari-mutuel harness racing this weekend. Nestled in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the track will host a pair of seven-week meets this year: a spring session that runs from April 6-May 19 and a fall session that runs from Sept. 14-Oct. 27. Racing takes place every Saturday and Sunday at 1:05 p.m. with two exceptions: on Kentucky Derby Day (May 4) and Preakness Day (May 18), when first post is 2:05 p.m.

Opening day features a commemorative t-shirt giveaway to the first 500 fans in the gate. In addition, the first 200 fans will also receive a bonus complimentary baseball cap courtesy of Standing Stallions. On Sunday, another 200 caps will be given away, and concession specials include $1 hot dogs and $2 canned beer.

Eight lucky fans that registered through social media balloting will get a chance to “Own a Horse for a Day” and win their share of a $5,250 purse. The Virginia Harness Horse Association sponsors the promotion three times each race meet and gives 24 fans overall a chance to participate. They all enjoy complimentary lunch, meet their horses and connections in the paddock area before the race, and keep their share of winnings. On track customers will have a chance to register for the promotion on April 13 and 14, and again on May 4 and 5.

Other meet promotional highlights include Corgi dog races on April 14, a college corn hole tournament on April 20, a Blues ‘n BBQ promotion on April 27 that includes a cooler bag giveaway, car show and barbecue food truck on site, and Kentucky Derby and Preakness Day parties on May 4 and 18, respectively. Topping it off, a 20th birthday party for legendary pacer Foiled Again will take place on May 11, when the sport’s richest horse will be at the track to celebrate the special occasion with all his fans. A concert series that features some of the region’s best musicians will also be held on Saturdays in conjunction with the races.

Shenandoah Downs offers free parking and free admission for on-track customers, and free TrackMaster past performance programs for all fans via Free Tip Sheets from long time Thoroughbred and harness handicapper Derby Bill Watson will be available via the website, as well. The Shenandoah simulcast signal is available to wager via all major streaming platforms, as well as at many tracks and OTBs around the country.

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