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January 2023 Newsletter

2023 has arrived! We wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous year with lots of great racing.


We are thrilled that we are able to add a spring race meet at Shenandoah Downs this year. We will have fourteen days of racing starting April 1st and ending May 14th. Racing will be on Saturdays and Sundays with a 1:00 pm post time. Racing applications for the spring meet are due by March 3rd. The application and other information about the meet can be found on our website, on the race meet tab.

The fall meet will start September 16th and end October 29th. Racing will be on Saturdays and Sundays with a 1:00 pm post time. These dates are subject to approval by the Virginia Race Commission.


We will be adding a second leg of elimination/prep races to our Breeders’ Fund races starting this year. The dates for these races (subject to Virginia Race Commission approval) will be as follows.

3 YO Trot elimins/prep- Sept 30 & Oct 7

3 YO Pace elimins/prep- Oct 1 & Oct 8

2 YO Trot elimins/prep- Oct 14 & Oct 21

2 YO Pace elimins/prep- Oct 15 & Oct 22

All finals, including aged, will be held on Oct 29th.

Nomination forms for 2 & 3 year olds must be postmarked by March 15, 2023

Sustaining forms for 2 & 3 year olds must be postmarked by May 15, 2023

Yearling registration must be postmarked by May 15, 2023.

Aged (4 yo and up) breeders’ forms must be postmarked by May 15, 2023. THIS REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR.

All forms are available on the website.


The Certified Residency Program will continue with foals of 2023. These foals will compete for a bonus pool of $400,000 as two year olds and $400,000 as three year olds based on race purses earned. To be eligible for this bonus program, a foal must reside in Virginia for six consecutive months before January of their two year old year. Details are on the website.

Additionally, foals of 2019 and 2020 that participated in the Certified Residency program will be eligible to compete in overnight races just for them. These races will be held during the spring meet and the purse for these races will be $25,000. Dates for these races will be announced.


Our Virginia Sired Stakes program is starting it’s second year and I am happy to say that a total of twenty stallions have chosen to be part of the program. Information on the program as well as details on each stallion can be found on our website. Check them out and book your mare today! Don’t miss out on being part of this exciting new program.


One of the great things about a new year, is the birth of foals. Please email ( or text (443-463-0917) your baby pictures so I can post them on our Facebook page slideshow for everyone to see.


It’s that time of year to renew your membership in the VHHA. Regular membership will remain at $30.00 for the year, drivers have the option of paying $100.00 for the yearly membership. If this option is chosen, then their race bike will be covered by insurance during the Shenandoah Downs meet. If the driver does not choose this option, then all connections of the horse (owners, drivers and trainers) must be a member in order to be covered by the bike insurance.

Information on all Virginia harness racing programs can be found on the website, or by contacting Debbie Warnick at 443-463-0917.



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