(WOODSTOCK, VA — 9/29/2016) —- The inaugural pari-mutuel harness race season at Shenandoah Downs continues for the fourth straight weekend with a ten race card on Saturday (Oct. 1) and an eleven race program on Sunday (Oct. 2).
Saturday’s action will be headlined by co-featured races — a $7,000 Open Handicap Pace and an $8,000 Open Handicap Trot. Gerry Longo’s Magnifique goes for her third straight win in the pace while Scott Woogen’s Peoplesayimnogood tries for her third in a row in the trot. Both Longo and Woogen will drive their respective entrants.
Other horses with streaks on the line include B Blissful, a 12 year old Blissful Hall gelding who has captured five straight at Woodstock. The Jimmy Viars trainee has won each Saturday during the current meet and he collected a pair during the Shenandoah County Fair. Herman Hagerman’s Hot Rod Mindale goes for his third straight triumph on Saturday, while Amanda Jackson’s Justa Party Animal and Tyler Shehan’s Peach Babe both go for the hat trick in Sunday action.
In the driver standings, Tyler Shehan’s four win performance last Saturday helped propel him to a three win margin atop the leader board over Roger Plante Jr., eleven to eight. Plante also has surged, courtesy of a driving triple on Sunday. Frank Milby, who raced sparingly opening weekend, has come on strong to take the third spot with seven wins.
Gerry Longo leads the trainer standings with six victories, while Herman Hagerman is next with five and a trio of conditioners are tied with four apiece — Amanda Jackson, Jimmy Viars and Rick Mapes.
The scenic Woodstock half miler will be the 137th track Huston has called races at in his storied career. He got his start in 1960 at a matinee in Wilmington, Ohio. “My uncle was calling the races that day and asked me to call a post parade so he could go to the bathroom,” recalled Huston. “I did the post parade and he never came back! The rest is history.”
Post time is 1:00 PM both days. The 4th annual “Wine & Trotter” festival takes place in conjunction with the races both days. Eight different Valley vineyards will be sampling their wines during the races. Gates open at 11 AM. Tickets are at www.shenandoahdowns.com and at the gate. Details are at www.shenandoahdowns.com and at www.virginiahorseracing.com.