(WOODSTOCK, VA — 10/1/2016) —- Silver Sierra came on in the stretch and surged past Day To Day just before the wire to capture the featured $8,000 Open Handicap Trot Saturday afternoon at Shenandoah Downs.
Roger Hammer, who trains the 4 year old Sierra Kosmos gelding, was in the sulky today for his charge. Day To Day, trained and driven by Tyler Stillings, led from the start and even carried a five length lead past the three-quarter pole. Silver Sierra came outside in the final turn and methodically pecked away at the lead. The winner, out of Heather Spur by SJ’s Caviar, crossed in 1:57 2/5 and captured his 11th lifetime race. Hammer had another training win earlier in the card with Arycca Hanover. The sophomore filly pacer connected for the first career triumph.
Herman Hagerman’s Hot Rod Mindale and Gerry Longo’s Magnifique both entered Saturday action looking for their third straight win. The pair came away with respective hat trick performances . The former became the first horse to win at the Shenandoah meet from post position eight while the latter wired the field.
Driver Joey Mapes guided Hot Rod Mindale to a dominant, 6 1/2 length win. The 12 year old Real Artist gelding had no problem overcoming the outside starting spot. He was in third with a first over trip at the opening panel, took control in the second turn and never looked back. Out of Nani Oakly by Jate Lobell, Hot Rod Mindale crossed in 1:57.0 and his lifetime bankroll increased to $353,936.
Longo’s pacer, which he drove, held off four others in a $7,000 Open Handicap. The 5 year old Tell All mare led by less than a length through most of the mile. She crossed 1 1/4 lengths over Indian Hero in 1:58 1/5 for her 8th win of the year. Magnifique is out of Jardin Des Arts by Jeremys Gambit.
Potential Horse of the Meet candidate Last Chance Harvey came outside at the half of his $3500 conditioned pace, slid into the pocket and eased by front stepping Three Large in the stretch to score his second straight. The 7 year old Henry Lewis trainee has reached the winner’s circle six straight times at Woodstock going back to the Shenandoah County Fair, but was disqualified and placed second in his September 17th start.
Racing returns to Shenandoah Downs on Sunday at 1 PM and guest caller Roger Huston returns to the microphone for a second straight day. The “Wine & Trotter” festival continues Sunday and starts at 11 AM.