(WOODSTOCK, VA — 10/10/2016) —- Sunday’s closing day at Shenandoah Downs featured a battle between the top two “Horse of the Meet” candidates, which Racing Secretary Mike Wandishin fittingly carded as the last race of the meet.
Unfortunately, Wandishin’s hope at drama didn’t materialize in the showdown between B Blissful and Last Chance Harvey. The former, a Jimmy Viars trainee, developed a flat tire on his sulky and by the final turn, had fallen to the back of the field. The latter, a Henry Lewis trainee, did win an exciting race nonetheless by 1 1/4 lengths over Hare Force One in 1:57 3/5 to more than justify award winning status.
Entering the finale, Last Chance Harvey’s Woodstock resume was nearly identical to B Blissful’s outside of a slight blemish. In a September 17th start that last Chance Harvey appeared to win, he was disqualified and placed second. Outside of that runner-up finish, the 7 year old Full Of Fun gelding won four other races and a pair at the Shenandoah County Fair, which preceded the five weekend pari-mutuel meet. B Blissful had won six straight heading into Sunday’s action — one each during the meet’s four weekends and two during the Fair. The 12 year old Blissful Hall gelding’s bankroll went over the $300,000 mark from his October 2nd triumph. The duo ended up sharing “Co-Horse of the Meet” honors.
Tyler Shehan captured the driver’s title with 14 wins, two better than Frank Milby and Roger Plante Jr., who tied for second with 12 apiece.
Gerry Longo won the trainers title in a wire-to-wire effort, finishing with ten wins from horses like Magnifique, Caress Of Steel, Sparkin Your Fire and Explosive Muscles, who won the afternoon’s co-featured $8,000 Open Handicap Trot. Amanda Jackson and Herman Hagerman tied for second with six victories each.