Shenandoah Downs Inaugural Weekend Races Set To Go; Marathan Card Featured Saturday
(WOODSTOCK, VA — 9/9/16) — Race programs for the inaugural harness racing weekend at Virginia’s Shenandoah Downs in Woodstock have been assembled and fans can expect a marathon day for the kickoff on Saturday.
The first of ten pari-mutuel races goes to post at 1:00 PM. followed by four non-betting Virginia Breeder’s three year old championship races at 5:00 PM and a trio of qualifying races at 6:00 PM. On Sunday, a ten race card will commence at 1:00 PM. Betting will be available on the first eight races but the final two, both Virginia Breeder’s two year old title races, will be non-betting.
Opening weekend features free admission, a food truck festival, plus the first 500 fans 18 years of age and older will receive a free $2 betting voucher. A ribbon cutting will take place Saturday on the track at 12:30 PM.
Co-featured races on the opening card are a pair of $7,500 winners over events — the 8th race is a pace and the 9th race is a trot. Early choice in the pace is the Roger Hammer trained R N Nate, who earned $83,376 last year in his three year old campaign. The 4 year old Nuclear Breeze gelding is one of three entered who had been racing at The Meadows. One of those, Larjon Laura, is the second early choice. The 6 year old daughter of Jereme’s Jet has a 1:52 2/5 winning mile this year, fastest of any of the five entered.
A field of six will compete in the winners over trot including morning live favorite Classic Belisima, who has bankrolled $179,150 in her career. The John Cabot trainee will be driven by Frank Milby. Second pick is Chinese Cuisine, an 8 year old Revenue gelding whose 1:54 4/5 winning mile at Pompano is fastest of any of the six.
Sunday’s first race is the only Virginia Breeder’s championship race on opening weekend that is part of the betting card. Five 2 year old colt and gelding pacers will vie including a pair that have each earned two runner-up finishes this year. Stacy McLenaghan’s Welcometotheparty finished second at both Tioga Downs and Ocean Downs, while Jimmy Viars’s Royal Red collected his pair at Lexington’s Red Mile. Lil Cool Fly’n Fun is the only freshman that has a win on his record. The Cool Flying Fun colt connected at the Shenandoah County Fair in a 2 year old restricted race August 31st.
For meet details, visit www.shenandoahdowns.com or www.virginiahorseracing.com.