(WOODSTOCK, VA — 2/7/2022) —- The Virginia Harness Horse Association announced today that 25 Virginia-Certified horses from the 2019 foal crop — the first to be eligible in a new lucrative residency initiative — will share $200,000 in bonus monies.
A total of 53 horses from that ’19 foal crop enrolled in the program, spent a minimum of six months at a registered farm or training center in the Commonwealth, and accumulated points from all their starts in 2021 when they began racing as 2-year-olds. Year-end point totals were tallied and bonus dollars were rewarded proportionately from the $200,000 pool. Horses that competed in overnight races in Woodstock — at Shenandoah Downs or the Shenandoah County Fair —- received double points.
Top bonus earning horse was Jane Dunavant’s Big Daddy D, whose $26,193 award came from $67,297 of purse money earned. The Dusty Winner gelding captured both the Virginia Breeder’s 2-Year-Old Colt Trotting Elimination and Championship in Woodstock this past fall and was runner up in both Delaware Standardbred Breeder’s Fund (DSBF) elimination legs at Dover.
Breeder/owner Glen Dyke’s Charlie’s Song earned the second largest award, $23,570, from two wins and a trio of runner-up finishes from seven starts which translated to purse earnings of $54,460. The Charlie De Vie trotter was runner-up in the $70,000 Maryland Sire Stakes final at both Rosecroft and Ocean Downs.
KJ Hunter, third best with $20,096 in bonus monies, collected a piece of the purse in New York Sire Stake competition at Yonkers, Tioga, Monticello, Saratoga and at Buffalo, where he finished second. The Huntsville pacer broke his maiden June 22 at Monticello and in doing so, became the first Virginia-Certified program enrollee to win a race. He is co-owned by Dr. Scott Woogen, Brenda Messenger and Phil Shapiro.
Pam Wagner’s Lisa’s All In received a $17,129 bonus from a pair of second and thirds among the filly’s nine starts. The Rusty’s All In pacer was a runner-up in both Maryland Sire Stake divisional preps at Rosecroft and finished fourth in the $70,000 final.
Wagner’s Maryland-bred trotter, KJ Stolen Diamond, was fifth in the bonus tally rankings with $14,835. The Anders Bluestone filly amassed $30,418 in purse winnings courtesy of runner-up finishes in the Virginia Breeders’ prep and finals this past fall and a second in the DSBF elimination at Dover.
Rounding out the top 10 bonus earning freshmen were KJ Unreal ($13,537), Roddy Boy B ($7,396), Antares Star ($7,304), First Over ($7,278) and Cool Breeze ($6,789).
The 2019 foal crop will compete for another $200,000 in bonus monies in 2022 when they compete as 3-year-olds. Owners with 2020, 2021 and soon to be 2022 foals enrolled in the program will experience a nice boost in reward monies — each class will vie for $400,000 in awards in both their 2-and 3-year-old campaigns.
Horsemen around the country with 2021 foals can choose from 30 registered Virginia farms to send their yearlings to in order to participate in the Certified program. Certified farms are as far north as Berryville and as far south as Bristol. Participating horses must complete a six-month residency before they turn two years of age.
For more details on this initiative or Virginia’s brand-new Sired Stakes program, visit vhha.net. The VHHA’s incentive program lineup continues to grow as racing opportunities increase at Shenandoah Downs. The 2022 fall pari-mutuel season will increase in length by three weeks and will extend from September 16 – November 5 pending VRC approval.