(WOODSTOCK, VA — 4/17/2023) —- Even though driver David Ingraham did not cross the wire first in Saturday’s (April 15) first race conditioned trot at Shenandoah Downs, he did return to the winner’s circle to get his picture taken. The 61-year-old reinsman had just made career start number 53,000 in that race aboard Arthur Lisi’s Rocky Bomber and even though he finished fourth, was recognized afterwards for the milestone accomplishment.
“You don’t think of that kind of number until it actually happens,” said Ingraham, who is competing at Shenandoah Downs for the first time this spring. “You have to compete for a long time and be lucky enough to not get hurt too much over the years. When I started racing back home, Maine had a ‘Mister 2,000 Club’ so I initially had hoped to get to that level at some point.”
Ingraham was born and raised in Maine where he competed full time until 1989 when he went south to Florida, got a place and started racing there, though he still spent part of the year in Maine. He has also raced in New York and at Colonial Downs. His biggest career score came in the 1995 Cane Pace at Yonkers aboard upset winner Mattgilla Gorilla who was sent off at 26-1. Ingraham has amassed over $31 million in purse earnings from 7,789 wins, 7,831 runner-up finishes and 7,694 thirds.
Four horses made it a perfect 3-for-3 this past weekend, three weeks into the meet and with four to go. Terrys Watching, Thaneeya, Double Parked and Buzzer all stayed undefeated.
Todd Warren drove trotter Terrys Watching to a wire-to-wire outing for the second straight week. The 3-year-old Charlie De Vie’s time of 2:00 1/5 was the fastest of the trio by a full second. Shortly after his win, the track was downgraded from fast to sloppy as rain swept in. Betsy Brown trains for owner James Brown.
Lomangino Standardbreds’ Thaneeya held off fast closing Jackie’s Express in Sunday’s third race to complete a coast-to-coast trip. Warren directed the effort, tripping the timer in 1:55 4/5 on a warm and muggy afternoon. The 7-year-old daughter of McArdle equaled her seasonal best for trainer Lewis Nunes.
The Todd Warren owned Double Parked took his third straight courtesy of a thrilling finish where the 6-year-old Sagebrush mare was a nose better than American Sombrero in 1:56 4/5. Rain did not deter the winner from completing her third consecutive trip in front at all points of call.
Stacy McLenaghan’s Buzzer became the first horse to win from post eight this meet when he prevailed by two over Boogiewoogiebeavis in a $5,500 conditioned pace once rain had cleared Saturday. The 3-year-old Heston Blue Chip colt crossed in 1:57 3/5, same clocking as in his first spring race two weeks prior. Corey Braden was in the sulky and helped trigger a rare 8-8 winning daily double combination with Everyrosehasathorn in the following race.
Fastest mile of the meet was authored Sunday by Cole Olsen’s Volley Ball Beach whose 1:53 1/5 winning time was one tick better than Hulou’s 1:53 2/5 mark a week ago. The 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere horse hit initial quarter panels of :27.0, :57 1/5 and 1:23 4/5 before crossing three-quarters of a length better than runner-up Hoosier Shark. The victory pushed Volley Ball Beach’s bankroll over the $230,000 mark.
Finally, Shantae Gant’s Vulcan Hanover set a new life mark in Sunday’s $10,000 Open Trot. The 6-year-old Donato Hanover gelding took the lead from a breaking Tequila n Roses past the half then powered home to a dominating ten-plus length triumph in 1:55 4/5 with Billy Carter in the bike. Vulcan Hanover, perhaps a “horse for the course”, is 10-for-15 in pari-mutuel starts at Shenandoah Downs.
The Woodstock oval’s two biggest races of the spring season are on tap this Saturday April 22. The $25,000 Blue Ridge Open Pace and $25,000 Alleghany Open Trot will be contested. Entries for the pair are due by Tuesday April 18 at 10 AM. More details are at shenandoahdowns.com.