Shenandoah Downs Opens Its Second Season of Harness Racing Saturday With 15 Races
(WOODSTOCK, VA —-9/15/17) —- Shenandoah Downs ushers in its second season of pari-mutuel harness racing this weekend in Woodstock with a 15 race Virginia Breeder’s program on Saturday (September 16) and a 9 race card on Sunday (September 17). Post time both days is 1:00 PM.
Four $40,000 divisions of Virginia Breeder’s Championship races for two year olds highlight opening day festivities. The Colt/Gelding Pace features a pair of prep race winners — Jimmy Viars’ Lemonaideshine and Mark Gray’s Rocknroll Ace. Both won on the final day of racing at the Shenandoah County Fair on September 2nd and both wired the field — the former in 1:59 2/5 and the latter in 2:03 2/5. Six other freshmen will compete against the duo including E-Z Pass B, who finished second to Lemonaideshine in 1:59 4/5.
Four two year old filly pacers will battle for divisional honors including a pair that authored a thrilling finish in their prep. Amanda Jackson’s Hillbilly Heartache edged Mark Gray’s Cold N Chilly by neck in 2:04.0 after an exciting stretch duel. Both Frank Milby and Mark Gray will be in the sulky respectively again.
Freddie K, who had a dominant career debut in the Colt & Gelding Trot prep, will face four other freshmen in the final. The Dusty Winner gelding wired the field in 2:07.0 and crossed the finish line eight lengths in front. He is owned and trained by Roland Dunavant, Jr. and will be driven by Frank Milby.
The final Breeder’s event is the Filly Trot where seven will go postward. Elwood Tignor’s Lorriella handily captured the prep race by six lengths in 2:07.0. The daughter of Four Starz Robro will be driven by Jason Green on Saturday.
John’s Dream, 2016 Virginia Breeder’s 3 Year Old Colt/Gelding Pacing champ, will return to Shenandoah Downs Saturday for the first time since that 1:52 1/5 track record mile performance. The Dream Away gelding has only raced ten times this year and on August 13th, scored an impressive 1:51 4/5 triumph at The Red Mile. Eric Foster’s Baby Kitty, fresh off a 1:50 4/5 win at Pocono, is the early favorite though at 7-5.
The first 12 races Saturday will offer wagering; the final three on the 15 race card are non-bettors. The harness season continues every Saturday and Sunday through October 15th. Parking and admission are free. Saturday features a “Hops ‘n Hooves” craft beer event where an upgraded ticket purchase includes a commemorative glass, beer sampling, a bowl of chili, race program and a $2 wager.
For the first time, the races will be streamed live at shenandoahdowns.com and virginiahorseracing.com. Fans in the Richmond area can wager the Shenandoah action at the two area Off Track Betting Centers — Ponies & Pints, and Breakers Sports Grille.